YWF Employability Workshop Insights

By 24th September 2018Insight

YWF Employability Workshop

13th September 2018, Landsec


  • Share knowledge on best practice of employability and sector focussed careers initiatives for young people in Westminster
  • Identify any gaps in provision and barriers for young people
  • Establish the drivers for businesses in engaging local young people through employability initiatives
  • Identify what makes employability initiatives attractive, interesting and relevant for young people
  • Shape the YWF’s emerging strategy and specifically our Employability Pilot including structure, activities and potential partners
  • Provide an opportunity for networking and forming new partnerships



Representatives from:

  • Westminster youth clubs
  • Young People
  • Westminster City Council
  • Westminster Business Sector


  • What career and employability schemes exist currently in Westminster?
  • Hostels at Cardinal Hume
  • City West Home generally has young engagement employability – through Amberley and Churchill Gardens youth clubs
  • Westminster Employment Service
  • Paddington Development Trust
  • Vodafone, Capital Arches provide programmes for teenagers to give them a career path à but need more awareness of such schemes


What does good practice look like?

  • Trustful relationship built between children and people giving advice.
  • Benchmarking
  • Informed but not strict
  • In order to effectively engage young people need to understand their motivation for working, skills or financial?
  • If there’s progression in the work, and it can outcome into other opportunities.
  • Need earlier engagement with young age groups in schools


2.) What are the drivers for businesses in engaging local young people through employability initiatives?

  • Engaging young people in the range of career options available
  • Future talent
  • Increasing diversity and social mobility
  • Staff retention
  • Local opportunities for businesses to get into schools
  • Volunteering
  • Recruitment, but many recruitment models are outdated and don’t target future skills
  • Global youth unemployment – 30%
  • Skills gap – as children aren’t being taught to adjust to the future and aren’t being prepared it à changing perceptions, helping figure out the “how” we connect generation to teach knowledge and the needs of the workforce
  • Increasing local community opportunities to make them more inclusive and local people for local jobs
  • Focus on development of skills rather than aptitude – life -long learners


  • What makes employability initiatives attractive, interesting and relevant for young people?


  • Diverse employers/sector so young people feel represented within an industry. Often feel they ‘can’t see themselves’ in that working environment and hence never apply
  • Young people as brand ambassador to represent the brand
  • Wages – especially for apprenticeships. Financial reward is a huge motivator, more than skills, for some young people
  • Emphasise the long-term benefits/ transferable skills which are included in the job
  • Guarantee they will receive reference and feedback
  • Paid part time work
  • Word of mouth from other friends or people they’re comfortable with
  • Engagement à speak their language and not using jargon
  • Recognition/ certificate to verify the skills they have obtained from experiences/workshops
  • Understanding that success is not out of their reach, especially for people from disadvantaged backgrounds


  • What are the barriers for young people in engaging with a wide range of employment industries and careers?


  • Getting out of their comfort zone
  • CV might not be up to the standard – start building it from earlier years
  • Confidence
  • Fear of not fitting in
  • Not understanding jargon/ways of working
  • Schools à only measure success through grades and not any other skills
  • Need to normalise barriers to cope, everyone feels anxious at some point in their career
  • Taking their own time out to get involved
  • Parental pressure/anxiety can be a barrier to young people taking advantage of certain opportunities
  • Lack of perseverance/ skills
  • Apprentices have a specific age bracket
  • Young people feel they don’t know which opportunities exist for them and can’t decide which ones are right for them


  • What is missing? Where are the gaps in provisions in Westminster?


  • Youth Provisions – support for young people
  • Conferences
  • Referral systems
  • Career guidance – understanding of the local labour market
  • Knowledge of actual jobs (narrow awareness)
  • Work experience isn’t coordinated e.g. businesses don’t offer the same time period available to schools and drop in provision from One EBP
  • Insight days for business visits to give information to students
  • Funding in schools to facilitate more employability training
  • Showing how to support young people to find their passion
  • No one is explaining what is out there
  • Not knowing the different roles within each industry à within each company
  • Tracking NEETs who don’t meet high threshold


  • YWF Employability Pilot – YWF has funding to support an employability pilot in Westminster youth clubs. What ideas do you have to make this project a success?


  • Give employment advice, but through the Young ambassadors so young people can relate to their experiences, especially Apprentices
  • Create a website/catalogue of opportunities that are available to young people à apprentices, universities
  • Open days – case studies to challenge misconceptions of big brands.
  • Careers fairs – modern version to make it more interactive and a variation of sectors (science/music/art)
  • Targeting young people most at risk of becoming NEETs
  • Soft skills/ personal development – building confidence so young people feel able to succeed in new unfamiliar working environments
  • Marketing strategies to recruit young people
  • Be transparent with young people
  • Sharing experiences and success/ struggle stories
  • Let young people go into the office, breaking down barriers

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