Empowering young people to unlock employment opportunities

October 25 2016  —  by Will Akerman, Founder and MD, MyKindaFuture

Young people need to be given time to explore, discover and engage with the huge range of future paths available to them before they leave education and crucially offered appropriate and timely help to secure those future options.

MyKindaFuture aims to achieve just that. We are a social business with a mission to connect young people with business and help them develop ‘work-ready’ skills whilst providing them with employment opportunities, from work experience, to traineeships, apprenticeships to graduate programmes.

We know this work matters. Research by The Work Foundation* has shown  that the 7% of students who recalled four or more employer-related activities while in education, were five times less likely to be NEET and earned, on average, 16% more than peers who recalled no activities.

At a time when the attainment gap between advantaged and disadvantaged young people continues to be a huge issue, actively promoting social mobility should be top of the agenda for anybody working in this area. We have a clear focus on enabling young people, whatever their background, to unlock work inspiration and employment opportunities to put them on the path to future success.

Young people should be leaving education with a balance of the necessary skills employers need to help them ‘get in’ and ‘go far’ in business. They need to be given the necessary tools to empower themselves to take responsibility for their own employability so they can make good decisions about their future to help them live the most enriched lives possible. These tools could include; work experience placements, visits to local businesses, digital mentoring and student-led careers and skills societies. No matter what the activity, we believe that a facilitated, ‘joined-up’ approach between educators and employers always delivers the best outcomes for young people.

It also delivers the best outcomes for businesses. We know that employers want to recruit the best talent to ensure they remain competitive in the global economy. We believe the best way to do this is by connecting them directly with a diverse range of students across secondary, further and higher education in the UK. Critical employability aptitudes such as; team working, communication and presentation skills are learnt through the many different programmes we run with businesses. These include; employment and skills workshops in schools and colleges, assessment centres, online challenges and regular face-to-face meetings with students. Through these activities employers are also able to demonstrate the variety of routes on offer to young people, some of which might not have been considered previously by the students.

But we know the journey doesn’t just end there. Once employers have identified and engaged with these talented young people they need to ensure they take a socially responsible approach to recruitment. The evidence is clear that a mix of backgrounds, values, experiences, and influences within a business can bring contrasting perspectives to idea generation and problem solving which drives innovation.

Employers’ attraction and recruitment strategies should be truly integrated to ensure they retain talent within the early stages of bringing new employees into the business. We help employers with this process; providing offer management, on-boarding, induction and training and development.

We know that tracking the success of skills and recruitment programmes through their lifecycles is critical and we are able to put in place key quantitative and qualitative metrics to demonstrate ROI for business and particularly the social impact they are delivering.

We work closely with the City & Guilds Group, together believing that active and sustainable collaboration between educators and employers will ensure young people can unlock the skills, connections and opportunities needed for a bright future.

Will Akerman

Will has made a significant contribution in the last 12 years to improving young people’s future life chances through creating and developing MyKindaFuture. The aim of the business has been to raise aspirations amongst 11-25 year olds and help them develop critical employability skills and connect them with work experience and employment opportunities to ensure they succeed in life and at work.