Green calls for ‘world class careers advisory service’

Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) chief executive officer Kevin Green called on the UK government last night to invest in “a world-class careers advisory service”, and sharply criticised the education system for failing to boost the employability of young people.

Thu, 9 January 2014 | By DeeDee Doke
Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) chief executive officer Kevin Green called on the UK government last night to invest in “a world-class careers advisory service”, and sharply criticised the education system for failing to boost the employability of young people.

Speaking at a House of Lords reception hosted by Baroness Prosser OBE, the chair of the REC Youth Employment Task Force, Green rounded on an education system that appeared to be “hoping, in a random way” that young people get a job.

The reception was aimed at celebrating the work of the four-year-old task force, which the REC says has seen more than 200 of its members commit to supporting youth employment initiatives. Such support has included presentations to schools on preparing for the world of work, taking on apprentices and personal development coaching.

Matthew Hancock MP and minister of state for skills & enterprise, Baroness Prosser and Lord Wallace of Tankerness QC, representing the deputy prime minister’s office, also gave brief talks.

Having to import workers from overseas to fill jobs reflected “a failing in the system” to produce a work-ready, skilled workforce, Green went on to say in his remarks to assembled recruiters and other attendees.

Green also was critical of the government decision to scrap work experience as part of the national curriculum as “clearly a step in the wrong direction”. “As a country, should we sweep it away or make it fit for purpose?” he asked.

Further, he said, the government must do more to make employers more aware of initiatives to boost youth employment. Good ideas were useless if no one was aware of them, he said.

Lord Tankerness noted cross-party support for many initiatives to boost youth employment and said: “This unfulfilled potential [of unemployed youth] is unfulfilled potential for us as a nation.”

Young people who do not know someone “who does the job they would love to do” must have equal opportunity to explore and take on such a profession, he said. Lord Tankerness then emphasised the need to “ensure recruitment is done openly, fairly and without discrimination”.

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