Young people meet to discuss the challenges of youth employment

25 Feb 2014

Following research with 1000 young people across the UK, Tesco brought together young people, businesses, policy makers, educators and the charitable sector at an event to discuss how together we can help young people start successful careers.

Young people

Following research with 1000 young people across the UK, Tesco brought together young people, businesses, policy makers, educators and the charitable sector at an event to discuss how together we can help young people start successful careers.

The event, which took place on 24th February and was hosted by Tesco UK’s Personnel Director, gave young people the opportunity to share their thoughts with Employment Minister Esther McVey MP and other organisations working to support young people.

The young people said they wanted more careers advice at an earlier age so that they are able to make informed decisions about their future.  They also asked for more support to develop key life and employability skills, and recommended that schools and employers develop closer links.  Many had faced difficulties in gaining the experience needed to secure a good job and suggested that more should be done to communicate the opportunities and support available to young people and how best they can access them.

Their feedback echoed the findings of new research conducted by Tesco and youth engagement agency Livity and launched at the event, which found:

  • 65% feel optimistic about their futures, despite high levels of youth unemployment
  • Most know what they want to do in the future, and feel they can offer employers skills and enthusiasm
  • 1 in 4 want to work for a big business and organisations with a social purpose are particularly popular
  • Young people lack career role models - 1 in 3 said they don’t know anyone whose job they’d want to do
  • Most turn to parents or careers advisors for help, but feel the jobs market has changed so much their advice is no longer relevant
  • 50% are worried about the lack of opportunities for young people, and 64% say that businesses don’t do enough to help young people get the best start to their careers

You can read more about the research findings here.

Working in small groups, the attendees at the event had the chance to discuss with other young people some practical steps that could be taken to address these challenges and help them get the best start on the career ladder.

Judith Nelson Judith Nelson and Esther McVey MP speak to participants at the event

Speaking after the event Judith Nelson, UK Personnel Director at Tesco, said “Today was about learning from young people what business and others can do to help them get on in life.  At Tesco, we’re committed to creating opportunities for all young people in the communities we serve, not just those who work for us.  By working together with other employers, government and the third sector I believe we can make a real difference.”

Yara Shaikh, aged 19, who took part in the research and attended the event, said “As young people, we have a lot to say but we’re not often heard.  Today we’ve had the opportunity to talk directly to people who can really make a difference.  It was also good to hear their point of view, and to see that they are willing to help us.”