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Young people disengaged with business community

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Young people in the UK remain pessimistic about their job prospects despite the improving economic climate, according to research.

Business in the Community (BITC) carried out the survey in conjunction with Veolia Environment to mark the start of Responsible Business Week. It suggests that young people do not feel engaged with the business community and would like to see more done to bridge the gap between the two groups. 

Just over half (51%) said they have had less than one hour of contact with businesses. Only 8% think that businesses are doing all they can to support them in their search for work. 

Most business accept they could do more to interact with those aged 16-24. Only 1% said they were doing everything they could to support the career progressions of young people.

Businesses claim to be offering some support. More than half (56%) offer face-to face-guidance on understanding the range of careers available, but only 18% of young people say they have used this service. 

BITC chief executive Stephen Howard said these figures showed the gulf between what businesses say they offer and the options young people feel they receive. He urged both sides to persevere, as the benefits are clear.

"Young adults who have experienced four or more employer contacts are five times less likely to be out of work or employment than those who have no engagement with business," he said.

“This Responsible Business Week, we’re urging businesses to fulfil this potential by doing more to lean into the challenge and ensure the economic recovery is inclusive for all young job seekers.” 

Estelle Brachlianoff, executive vice president for Veolia Environnement UK and Northern Europe, stressed the importance of these relationships in business.

"We employ hundreds of apprentices across our business and our role is to harness their ability and then train, mentor, encourage and develop these young people," she said.

“This Responsible Business Week we’re going to be meeting with young adults to understand the challenges they face to see if we can help overcome them together. We’re bridging the gap to help ensure school leavers will be ready for business.”

HR magazine is a media partner of Responsible Business Week, which runs at various venues across the UK this week. To find out more, visit the Responsible Business Week website.