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Positive business attitudes to support falling youth unemployment

A new report by CIPD, the professional body for HR and people management, finds that its two-year campaign to promote the education-to-work transition is bearing fruit.

Although demographic shifts and increasing further education uptake played a major role in cutting youth unemployment, CIPD's survey showed that businesses had substantially changed their attitudes.

The report states that as recently as 2012, businesses were blaming schools for failing to prepare leavers for working life, although 'seven out of 10 CIPD members agreed they had a role to play in tackling youth unemployment but needed support on how to do this.'

The new research reveals that 40% of firms now offer work experience opportunities and almost as many have increased their provision in the last year. Nine out of 10 respondents declared that they now use social media to recruit young people.

The survey also reports:

  • 62% of employers state that too much emphasis is placed on academic qualifications during the recruitment process
  • Nearly half of employers now offer work experience opportunities - and more than a third have increased their offer over the last year
  • 35% of employers are now engaging with local schools and colleges


Meanwhile, a YouGov poll commissioned by campaigning group Intern Aware argues that businesses that do not pay their interns are harming their career prospects.

The study of 682 businesses found that 48% of employers who paid interns regarded internships as a valuable recruitment strategy for full-time employees, compared with just 32% of companies that did not pay interns.

Intern Aware said the widespread use of unpaid internships was unfair, and also excluded those on lower incomes who could not afford to support themselves throughout an unpaid work placement.

There are approximately 100,000 unpaid interns in the UK, according to data from think-tank IPPR.

Acas publications and services

Acas has published Advice leaflets that provide all employers need to know about Volunteers, work experience and internships, Apprentices and National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage.

The Acas training course Employing People - A practical introduction covers all the fundamentals of employing people. The course New employment law and updates is essential learning for HR professionals who need to keep up with changing employment law.

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