Youth unemployment: a tried and tested solution

Two things have dominated my world this week. The first has been the development and acceleration of our ambitious IT agenda. We’ve been delighted by response to our new website – www.chiumento.co.uk – which has already resulted in some exciting discussions with potential new clients. We are also hard at work on a revolutionary new outplacement product that we plan to launch at one of our regular “Working Lunches” in April.

All of this has made me think longer and harder about where technology is leading. Some industries and professions have already undergone huge transformation – including some that are pretty close to home for us in the HR Consulting world. You only have to look at what the web did, and is continuing to do, to the recruitment advertising industry to see how the internet can change everything.  It is all a far cry from Austin Knight in the heady days of the 1980s.

Since Xmas we have seen the huge impact of the internet on High Street retailing. It seems like names such as Jessops, Comet and HMV have been in the news every day. Who is next – the clock is ticking…

Against this background you’d think that Generation Y would be in the driving seat. After all they are the most technology savvy generation ever. They embrace technology in every form from smart phones to tablets and PCs. My 12 year old has probably got more computing power in her bedroom than NASA had to send a man to the moon.

But therein also lies a problem. And one that is taxing me as I approach the second issue of the week – helping jobless young people get into work. Latest news published in People Management shows just how big an issue this is for the UK. I’m going to a meeting next month where I’ve been asked for some radical ideas.

Recent experiences have highlighted to me that while Generation Y’s embrace the technology of modern recruitment with ease – such as on-line recruitment systems and job boards – many don’t know how to put a decent CV or covering letter together. Some also seem to struggle with how the Facebook page they use to connect to their mates may negatively impact the image needed to impress a potential employer. And the list goes on.

By contrast the experienced, world-wise Generation Xs may not always know their twitter from their X-box but often they do know the fundamentals of how to play the recruitment game. And the Gen Y’s are often competing with them for the same jobs…

So I guess this will be the theme of my presentation: how do you give Gen Y the job hunting skills they need to compete in the market? I think I already know the answer. And it has been around a lot longer than Facebook, Google or Amazon. In a word: outplacement.

Perhaps one day the Government will decide to engage with us to help. All they need to do is go to the Chiumento website and we’ll be happy to explain how we manage to help over 80% of the people we work with achieve their career goals within 6 months.

Ian Gooden
Chief Executive Designate