Acas uses cookies to ensure we give you the best experience and to make the site simpler. Find out more about cookies.

Website URL :

Acas, CIPD and unionlearn join forces to highlight the importance of giving young recruits the best start to work

Thursday 27 February 2014

New guide on Managing Future Talent published as youth unemployment falls

Last week's employment statistics, which revealed that youth unemployment fell by almost five per cent in the last quarter, have today been welcomed by Acas, CIPD and unionlearn, as they publish a new guide for managing young people. The guide recognises the key role employers' play in developing young talent to bridge employability gaps and skills mismatches and highlights the  steps managers can take to create a culture that will give young recruits the opportunity to thrive.

Advice on how to manage young people effectively is well timed as new CIPD survey data reveals that two thirds of employers (65%) offer at least one type of employment route for young people taking their early steps on the career ladder. Furthermore, over half of employers (56%) who offer Apprenticeships have increased the number available over the last 12 months and half (50%) are offering more Traineeships, meaning that an increasing number of managers are likely to have responsibility for young employees*.

pdf icon Managing Future Talent - A guide for employers [1Mb] outlines best practice tips from line managers working with young people across a range of sectors and in different sized organisations, including Barclays, Harrod UK Ltd and the Royal Opera House. The guide identifies how daunting the workplace can be for young people starting work for the first time and the need for managers to provide the right practical support and guidance to ensure young employees get the start they need to succeed.

Among the key tips identified in the guide, employers are advised to:

  • Provide an induction to help young recruits understand their job, adapt to the organisation effectively and settle comfortably into the workplace.
  • Encourage young employees to build up confidence and trust in the organisation by ensuring they have a consistent supervisor or line manager they can go to for support.  Providing a young person with an additional workplace mentor can also help assist them in their overall development.
  • Be clear about expectations and remember that young people may have little previous experience of adjusting to the culture of a workplace.
  • Introduce new tasks gradually but do expand the responsibilities of the young employee once they are ready for a new challenge. Not every young person will be the same, some may be quicker to settle in than others.
  • Provide regular feedback and opportunities for discussion. Encourage young employees to identify and develop their skills.
  • Recognise talent as it emerges and provide appropriate opportunities for it to flourish.

Commenting, Katerina Rudiger, Head of Skills and Policy Campaigns at the CIPD said:

"Businesses are starting to 'get the message' when it comes to youth unemployment. They are starting to recognise that taking on young people is an important aspect to ensuring they have a workforce best placed for success and, as result, are offering a greater number of access routes, such as Apprenticeships. However, creating routes into the labour market is only one half of the equation.

"It is also crucial that when a young worker first enters the workplace, the experience sets them up for a long and successful career. Our Learning to Work programme has revealed that the role of the line manager is particularly important in helping young employees transition from education to work and our guide is a great starting point for all employers; it's in their best interests to see their workforce thrive."

Gill Dix, Head of Strategy at Acas said:

"As more employers start to take on young people who are new to the world of work, it is crucial that those employment relationships are well managed. Acas research, published last year, shows that when inexperienced workers are welcomed and supported by employers this can have a really positive impact for both the individual and the business. Line managers have a key role to play in creating working environments where young people are able to learn, develop, progress and contribute creatively to their organisation.

"Employers and managers also need to be confident so that they can take on young workers and manage an age-diverse workforce in ways that will reap business rewards. This new guide - which draws on the challenges and successes of managers and employees across a wide range of sectors and organisations, as well as the combined expertise of Acas, the CIPD and unionlearn - will therefore provide a welcome resource for employers at this important time when youth employment may be starting to turn the corner."

Director of unionlearn Tom Wilson said:

"Young people were hardest hit during the recent recession, and have benefited least from the recent recovery in the jobs market. Too many employers stigmatise young people looking for work and miss out on highly skilled and enthusiastic new staff as a result.

"This guide should allay many of the fears employers have about taking on young people. Simple steps such as proper inductions, workplace mentors and access to training will help new young recruits get to grips with their new responsibilities at work, and help employers get the most out of their staff.

"The tens of thousands of union learning reps in workplaces across the UK are perfectly placed to provide the kind of peer-to-peer support that young workers benefit from."

The guide has been produced as part of Learning to Work, an action focused programme led by the CIPD to promote the role of employers in reducing youth unemployment. To find out more visit The CIPD has also partnered with Skills CFA on a Higher Apprenticeship in HR Management, launched last year to provide a new access route for young people joining the profession. To find out more visit

*The data is taken from a currently unpublished survey of 1,000 UK employers, conducted by YouGov on behalf of the CIPD in November 2013. For a copy of the data tables please contact

CIPD Press Enquiries - Robert Blevin / Katy Askew / Isabel Allanwood Tel: 020 8612 6400 Email:

Acas Press Enquiries - Shumon Rahman/Clare Carter on 0207 210 3688, Lou Owen on 020 7210 3920 or Sophia Said on 0207 210 3680. For out of hours media enquiries please call the out of hours duty press officer on 020 7210 3600.

Unionlearn Press Enquiries - Robert Holdsworth, TUC Senior Campaigns and Communications Officer, 0207 467 1372.

Notes to editors

  1. Katerina Rudiger, Gill Dix and Tom Wilson are all available for interview.
  2. If you wish to reproduce this press release in full on your website, please link back to the original source
  3. Managing Future Talent, a joint publication by CIPD, Acas and unionlearn, is available to download pdf icon Managing Future Talent - A guide for employers [1Mb].
  4. The CIPD is the professional body for HR and people development. It has over 130,000 members internationally working in HR, learning and development, people management and consulting across private businesses and organisations in the public and voluntary sectors.  As an independent and not for profit organisation, the CIPD is committed to championing better work and working lives for the benefit of individuals, business, the economy and wider society - because good work and all it entails is good for business and society at large, and what is good for business should also be good for people's working lives. The CIPD brings together extensive research and thought leadership, practical advice and guidance, professional development and rigorous professional standards to drive better capabilities and understanding in how organisations of all kinds operate and perform, and in how they manage and develop their people. A Royal Charter enables the CIPD to confer individual chartered status on members who meet the required standards of knowledge, practice and behaviours.
  5. Acas stands for Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service. We aim to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. We help with employment relations by supplying up-to-date information, independent advice and high quality training, and working with employers and employees to solve problems and improve performance. Acas is an independent and impartial statutory body governed by a Council made up of members from business, trade unions, academia and the law.
  6. The Acas Helpline - 08457 47 47 47 - is available from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Advice is free and confidential so callers do not have to give their names. Research commissioned by Acas found over nine out of ten employers (96 per cent) who call the Acas helpline would recommend it to a colleague. For online advice please go to Helpline Online. Previous Acas research on young people entering work can be found at Research papers.
  7. All unionlearn press releases can be found at