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Guide to managing young people published

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Employers hiring young members of staff should manage colleagues’ expectations of what they can do and consider giving them a mentor, new guidelines suggest.

A guide published jointly today by the CIPD, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) and unionlearn, the learning and skills organisation of the trade union TUC, is designed to help managers prepare for and nurture young talent.

The workplace organisations compiled the publication using advice gathered from employers and HR professionals working with young people across different sectors, including the arts, banking and retail.

Managing Future Talent – A guide for employers, includes information on inducting and managing young staff members, and practical information such as pay regulations and how trade unions can support young people. It also includes comments from young apprentices.

The guide emphasises the need for employers to ensure young people are comfortable with the basics of working life.

“Many young people will only have limited experience of work, and some may never have stepped into a workplace of any description,” the guide suggests.

“It is therefore important not to take for granted that they will know how to perform tasks that, for more experienced workers, would need no introduction.”

National charity for young people UK Youth backed the resource. Director of communications Dominic Cotton said it was a “vital and timely resource to ensure employers can support young people to flourish in work”.

“Falling youth unemployment means that more employers are beginning to realise that young people can be a fantastic addition to their workforces,” said Cotton.

“We will be recommending this guide to all the employers we work with at UK Youth." 

Acas head of strategy Gill Dix said the guide was being published at a timely moment, as youth unemployment levels had fallen by almost 5% in the last quarter.

“As more employers start to take on young people who are new to the world of work, it is crucial that those employment relationships are well managed,” said Dix.

“Acas research, published last year, shows that when inexperienced workers are welcomed and supported by employers this can have a really positive impact for both the individual and the business.”

Unionlearn director of Tom Wilson urged employers to hire younger staff. “Young people were hardest hit during the recent recession, and have benefitted least from the recent recovery in the jobs market,” he said.

“Too many employers stigmatise young people looking for work and miss out on highly skilled and enthusiastic new staff as a result.

“This guide should allay many of the fears employers have about taking on young people.”

 The guide is available on the CIPD website.