Headlines: August 19th, 1998

As a new stream of young people enter the job market, a new survey has thrown light on the reasons many of them struggle to find work.

It appears to indicate that there is further need for improvement in
partnerships between Government, business and educationalists.

The report from Andersen Consulting working with The Prince’s’ Trust reveals
that young people looking for work think their qualifications are what employers want to hear about.

In contrast, employers are looking for young people to have – and to be able to
demonstrate – initiative, enthusiasm and commitment.

Employers are also unimpressed by the education of young applicants.
Traditionally, this has focused on literacy and numeracy – areas in which
employers remain dissatisfied – but the new research highlights a range of
other attributes which are equally ranked for importance. For example, 71 per
cent of employers interviewed think that not enough emphasis is placed in
schools on interpersonal and communications skills, and just over half reject job applicants because they lack these qualities.

Tim Gbedemah from Andersen Consulting said, “Our findings illustrate some of
the challenges facing the Government’s strategy in tackling the high levels of
youth unemployment. Only if Government, employers, educators and young people work together can we bring the long-running story of the skills
gap to a conclusion.”

Copies of the report “The Attributes of Youth: Young people, education and
employability” are available from Andersen Consulting, Tel: 0171 438 5604.