Calls for more support to potential employees

Businesses are being encouraged to step up and invest more time in reaching out to the next generation of staff.

Research carried out by Whitbread and the Confederation of the British Industry (CBI) showed positive trends in the way 16 to 19-year-olds in the north east are planning their careers.

However whilst confident about career progression they think they need further support to understand career prospects.

Andy Harrison, CEO of Whitbread, said: “This is a clear message that business needs to step up and invest more time and effort in reaching out to the next generation of employees, managers and leaders.

“The next generation are telling us that they are very positive about their future work prospects and would welcome more engagement and support from business.

“This is a pool of future talent that we should be embracing before they even enter the workplace, helping them to fulfil their ambitions.”

Following the results, Whitbread and the CBI have highlighted the critical role for business in supporting school leavers as they transition into careers, and are urging all employers to do more to provide careers information, open up work experience placements and invest more in exposing school and college students to the world of work.

John Cridland, director general of the CBI, said: “Young people expect businesses to step up and show them the career opportunities on offer and a clear idea on how they can progress in their career.

“Employers are doing some great work on the ground, but we need to get more firms involved.

“Many young people are worried about making their first steps outside the school gates and it’s clear that the more exposure to the world of work they get early on, from advice to work experience, the better for them.

“The careers advice system is in a perilous state and letting young people down. It’s vital that more firms engage but to achieve this we need a fresh approach to careers in schools.

“The Government must ensure that the new careers company has the resources it needs to transform provision.”

Richard Baker, chairman at Whitbread, said: “At Whitbread we employ thousands of young people, often straight out of school or college and following work experience placements.

“We are passionate about giving them the training and the opportunities to build their careers with us.

“At Whitbread there are no barriers to entry and no limits to ambition. Last year we gave 1,300 people the chance to manage one of our hotels, restaurants or coffee shops and 600 of those people are managing their own business for the first time.”