What Employers Want

As part of our role as National Co-ordinator of the European Agenda for Lifelong Learning, we carried out work to identify the skills and attributes that employers look for when recruiting a young person. Through the Young People and Employability Skills project, 30 young people were trained and supported to conduct research interviews with 31 employers, including Asda, Wales Millennium Centre, Glasgow Rangers Football Club, The Princes Trust and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service. The project resulted in positive outcomes for the young people and employers involved, as well as our three partners; ACT Training, Southway Housing Trust and Glasgow City Council Employment and Skills Partnership team.

Following on from this work, we developed a BIS-funded, responsive website for young people and providers who are delivering employability training with young people. What Employers Want features the Young People and Employability Skills findings and resources, as well as new resources including six films of employers talking about what they look for in job candidates. As part of this work we also developed a guide for unemployed young people, aged 16–25, providing clear information and insights into what employers want. The contributing employers are Barclays Bank, Topps Tiles Plc, Spirit Pub Company, Sureline Communications Ltd, and Manchester Digital Laboratory.

As part of our ongoing commitment in this area, we are currently working with two organisations in Northern Ireland, to train and support 20 young people to conduct research interviews with employers. The work will be showcased at national Impact Forums and a seminar for policy makers from across the UK and Europe to discuss the findings and actions.