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The emerging workforce

Thousands of young New Zealanders are leaving the sanctity of school or university and will need a job. Whether it be to fund their parties, education, independence, or family, they're going to need to work.

What can we do to help? How about challenging the belief that they need a degree or two to join the workforce? Gen X has bought into the notion that if there are 2 candidates who interview equally well, the one with the degree should get the job. The job may be in customer service and the degree in history, but nonetheless, the paper wins. This scenario is on the long shot that the candidate without the degree got an interview in the first place (perhaps due to a favour for a family friend...).

It's time for employers to step up and take some responsibility for the unnecessary student loan debt we're pushing on our school leavers. We know that the majority of learning comes from on the job, so why do we make young people spend years learning at uni when they don't know how or if they will ever apply their learning at work? As an employer - would you pay for your staff to attend expensive training programmes and give them the time off to do it without having a specific need to do so? Employers invest in targeted training and expect a return on their investment; school leavers should be allowed to do the same.

Ten percent of learning comes from training, 20% from significant others, and the rest (yes, a whopping 70%) from on the job experience. Welcome our school leavers into your organisation and give them a chance to work out what training would be a useful investment. They might just surprise you at how much they know, how willing they are to learn, how grateful they are for the opportunity.

To help with this idea, check out the 'Beliefs' post.


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