Book News: September 7th, 2006

By Sarah Gillinson and Duncan O’LearyThere is a damaging disconnection between young people and organisations. A disconnection between the training of today and the workplaces of tomorrow, and between the changing values of young people and the organisational cultures that they encounter. At the heart of this disconnection is a lack of understanding on both sides of the other’s needs.

This disconnection has emerged because of a series of rapid shifts in both the supply of jobs available from employers and the demand for jobs, or expectations of employment, on the part of graduates. On the supply-side, the jobs available in the economy are changing, as is the nature of many organisations themselves. On the demand-side, the expectations and values of young people are shifting, alongside the changing nature of the graduate career itself.

This report proposes a series of recommendations for schools, universities, government and other organisations aimed at reconnecting employers and young people in the name of productive and fulfilling work. It argues that these changes mean new challenges for employees, which increase the importance of ‘intangible’ personal qualities, such as the ability to work in a team or to be creative. Changing values and social norms provide new questions for employers, as they struggle to find ways to attract, motivate and support a generation of young people with higher debt, different values, and more demanding jobs than ever before.

Published by DEMOS and available at: http://www.demos.co.uk/publications/workingprogress