I have found it quite frustrating to read about this year’s budget, in particular the youth unemployment levels in the country.

It has only been the last few years that I have found my self paying more and more attention to the budget and to the state of the country as a whole. Is this something to do with growing up? Or the fact that I increasingly get the impression that our politicians are completely out of touch with the real world?

Of particular frustration is the lack of support available to those youths who are out of, or trying to find work. There is support, but it is woefully inadequate and aimed entirely in the wrong direction, it is trying to push people into jobs they don’t want, any job, whether they want to do them or not. 

The problem here is twofold; if the youth doesn’t want to be there, they will not commit to working hard, or making a difference and the employer then has the responsibility of motivating a disillusioned, “problem” employee. This then stifles any hope of this employment bearing fruit and increasing sales or output. Another thing to bear in mind is, many Small to Medium Businesses (SME’s) do not have the internal skills, or application to be able to address these issues.

I believe there are 3 simple steps that, if introduced, would revolutionise how those who do make repeated excuses about why they don’t work; such as “there are no jobs out there” go about getting back to work.

So, how do you fix it?

1. Find out exactly what the young unemployed person wants from a job and their life.

This is far easier that it seems. A simple coaching exercise can draw out and help the person understand their own core values. What drives them? What’s important to them? What do they want? What do they see as their purpose in life? This is vital, as someone who values being independent and the out doors, is not going to be a good call centre employee. But they may be a good landscaper, or builder.

2. Find out what VALUES the employer wants from their work force.

Nothing frustrates a job hunter more than seeing cleaner position advertised, but the job requesting 17 years experience and a HND in biochemical engineering.

If employers understood that a valuable young employee must be having their values criteria met, then this makes for a good, motivated employee. There is absolutely NO guarantee that the best candidate for a role is the one with experience and in fact this not the case in many instances I have come across.

3. Work with an intermediary to ensure success.

Assign some skilled support to the employee, such as a coach, or mentor to ensure the employee feels they have a voice and support whilst they adapt to being at work. This independent person can act as a go between for the employee and their management or organisation. If this skill does not exist in the business, then it must be out sourced or brought in. Without it, the success of moving someone who is unemployed into work is difficult, as they will not adequately adapt to the change.

In doing these things employers also step up and take responsibility. You can blame who you like for this unemployment problem, but it is not entirely down to the government. It is also down to the business owners and managers who do not know what values they want to have from their work force. As a result they rely on hiring those with the most experience.

It is your skills and abilities that are transferable, not just your job history. Until these 3 things are done, there will never be a remarkable change in our society, or youth unemployment levels.