NEETs – create work experience and opportunities

How we should evolve as businesses to provide stable opportunities to young people who are not in education, employment or training through systematization. To give back to the community and share a sense of purpose.

Out-of-school, unemployed or training youth aged 16 to 24 (NEET) represented 11.6% of the population between October and December 2020 according to the Office of National Statistics.

This is a shocking proportion of our population. Of the estimated 797,000 NEETs, 44.3% were actively looking for work and therefore unemployed, and the rest were classified as economically inactive. This represents around 353,071 available workers who could potentially be key people within our companies.

More than that, if they can’t find a job, training, or further education, UCL’s Institute for Health Equity says these NEETs are more likely to suffer from mental and physical health issues. , especially over a long period. They are also more likely to be involved in criminal activity and less likely to have successful careers. They are also statistically more likely to suffer from health problems later in life.

If we look at it from a human perspective, it all sounds incredibly negative, and it’s an issue that we as individuals and as businesses cannot ignore. There are of course government and local authority programs that tackle this issue, and we can get involved and make sure our businesses are ready to nurture a culture of inclusion and support for those who are NEET. .

There are countless reasons why a person may find themselves NEET, but statistics and information in the report for Public Health England from UCL Institute of Health Equity indicate that “those who are relatively disadvantaged, from poor backgrounds or who have had negative experiences in school are more likely to spend some time being NEET. If you also take into consideration that we are now looking at Gen Z in this age bracket, it is clear that there is a lot we can do to show our support and attract these people in particular.

Generation Z are social justice warriors; they care passionately about equality and our ability to show ourselves who we really are at work. They want to give their time to companies and organizations with strong ethics and green policies, so it is more important to them than to any previous generation that their values ​​are reflected in the companies in which they work.

It is clear that we need to provide a workplace that shows purpose, and convey that sense of purpose to our teams. In order to retain these workers, we also need to make sure that we can keep our promises and keep them in order to be reassuring and trustworthy, a safe space that is different from the one in which many NEETs may have grown up.

From a systematization point of view, this is exactly what I believe we all need in every business. Starting my working life at McDonald’s, which is one of the UK’s biggest first-time job providers, taught me so much about how systemization is the key to business success. I know McDonald’s is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I know few business people who disagree that their success is something to be learned from.

Many SMEs tend to grow organically and then struggle when they reach a certain size or revenue, as the business owner is still juggling many roles, hiring in a rush, and training is ad hoc. hoc. When a new hire joins a company like this, perhaps drawn to the passion and purpose of the business, they are often disappointed with the inconsistency, lack of a progression plan and stressful firefighting. in their roles.

Why can’t we have both? A successful, calm and systemized business with a compelling purpose that helps and attracts NEETs and where we can foster an environment of learning and growth?

Does your workplace have a sense of purpose, promote equality and demonstrate consistency? Are you consistent with your hiring, training, trial period, and evaluations? Let’s take a long look at our businesses and see how to provide them so that new workers who might join us as part of a work experience or volunteering program with local authorities tackling youth unemployment can come back to us (or stay ) and become valued key players in our teams.

So let’s start by focusing on the purpose, vision, mission and values ​​of your business. Why you do what you do and what is your passion behind it. Share it with your team and post it on your website.

Once we have that foundation, we can create consistency in every part of your business. From a team perspective, this is your system for hiring and probation, team building, communication and feedback. When these are systematized, it means that each team member knows exactly what their role is, when their probation ends and what is expected of them during that period, when their quarterly and annual reviews are and what is his progression plan, which allows for very healthy work. environment.

Consider creating volunteer and work experience opportunities for these NEETs, create a “work role” for volunteers that would add value to your business and teach valuable skills. If that doesn’t exist, have them follow a strong member of your team who would be willing to delegate certain tasks to them.

Think about how you would start any new hire and approach their work experience or volunteer role that way so they get a taste of what it’s like to be hired, to share a goal, to do part of your business and be part of the team.

Along the way, it is of course important to give regular, honest, positive and constructive feedback to help them learn and develop. Make sure they know the skills they are learning and that they are ready to be featured on their CV.

If we can give a little back, share a purpose, and be reliable and consistent bosses, we can have such a positive impact on the future of these young people.

Marianne Page is an award winning leader and developer of high performing teams; inspire owners of successful small businesses to create systems to free them from the daily grind of their operations; give them time to enjoy a fulfilling life, confident that their business is working well. Author of Simple Logical Repeatable, Mission: To Manage, The McFreedom Report and Process to Profit.

Maria D. Ervin