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First time around: helping young people transition into work

Transitions are tough, particularly if you're a young person struggling to adapt to working life after a period of unemployment. Almost a million young people are not in education or employment (NEET) - and while most are actively looking for work, many will endure a period of unemployment before landing their first job. So in addition to the excitement, anxiety and uncertainty of starting a new job, young people may start work with their confidence knocked following unemployment. Is there anything that employers can do to help?

Lost in Transition, a report produced by The Work Foundation, suggests that young people need support before and during key transitions - especially when they start work for the first time. The transition from education to employment is clearly daunting for many young people, who may feel pressurised by the expectations of their employer, or concerned about the long hours of full-time work.

Employers can help young people by offering support in the early stages of their working life - and by simply being aware of the worries and concerns of young employees. Employees may benefit from being eased into their first proper job - perhaps with part-time hours or on-the-job taster sessions. Many employees will start work with abundant qualifications, but employers should remember that young people still lack experience, and may need encouragement to develop soft skills such as communication and team-working.

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