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NOW CLOSED: Talk work experience experiences and views with Barclays: one MNer will win a £200 JL voucher

(81 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 20-May-13 10:34:15

You may have seen something about it already - but if not then we'd like to introduce, LifeSkills created with Barclays. This new programme is being supported by Mumsnet and is designed to help get one million young people ready for work by 2015.

For loads more info click here.

Barclays want to know from you:

~ What are the skills you think young people really need today to get them ready for the workplace, and do you think they are being taught them?

~ Do you think things were any better when you were at school? Have things improved?

~ And what was the one thing you wish you had known before starting out in the world of work?

Let us know your thoughts on this thread - everyone who adds a comment will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £200 John Lewis voucher

Thanks
MNHQ

Also - for another chance to win that voucher, please share on this thread if you do anything to support the LifeSkills programme - eg if you share it with your school, with another parent, with your employer, or with your company etc.

Tyranasaurus Mon 20-May-13 13:23:43

~ What are the skills you think young people really need today to get them ready for the workplace, and do you think they are being taught them?

Life skills, how to budget, how to act professionally. I don't know if they're taught now

~ Do you think things were any better when you were at school? Have things improved?

They weren't the kind of thing I was taught at school. I think that young people today have more of a sense of entitlement and expect to be able to live in a fancy flat with a car, nice clothes, going out etc whereas when I started out I was happy to be renting a room in a dodgy area and a bottle of cheap wine at the weekend

~ And what was the one thing you wish you had known before starting out in the world of work?

Don't work too hard! If you finish all your work they'll just give you more and none of the other employees will like you.

Skills that young people need:
-How to present yourself at interview and at work.
-timekeeping, reading timetables.
-Adapting language to company (don't talk to potential employers as you would to your friends).
-Budgeting a monthly salary wisely
-Networking and getting on with colleagues.
-How and when to complete tax returns and how to keep accounting records.
-Reading between the lines of job adverts.
-Writing an effective CV, making use of social media profiles to improve job prospects.

I think today's young people are more attuned to the requirements of the workplace, as competition for jobs is fierce. When I was younger, if I wanted a job (or even an additional job), I would just drop my CV at a few places and have secured a job within the day. That is impossible for most young people today.

I help my DCs prepare for the world of work by teaching them how to budget, how to invest, and how to record money coming in and going out.

PostBellumBugsy Mon 20-May-13 14:17:09

What are the skills you think young people really need today to get them ready for the workplace, and do you think they are being taught them?
Qualifications are still really important. Good communication skills are vital, so knowing how to be polite, how to look someone in the eye, how to dress appropriately (as you communicate by how you look too). Broader experience is good too, so doing extra curricular activities: DofE, Scouts, Guides etc all helps build confidence.
I think some young people are taught useful skills for the workplace, but I'm sure the coverage is patchy.

~ Do you think things were any better when you were at school? Have things improved?
I received the most dreadful careers advice at school & no one showed me how to put together a CV or anything remotely useful - BUT - I think that even back in the 1980s there was still a more respectful culture, where young people knew how to show respect to older people. That is possibly what has slipped alot for some young people now.

~ And what was the one thing you wish you had known before starting out in the world of work?
Talk less! wink

alreadytaken Mon 20-May-13 15:49:26

link blocked by my security software, therefore I don't know what type of young person it's aimed at. Assuming it's the hard to place then

how to dress for an interview and for work
punctuality and the importance of good timekeeping
being polite and respectful but not servile
the value of voluntary work in providing references and contacts
how to present what you have done in a positive way
to value but not over value what you have done - managed expectations
how to claim benefits while you look for work
how to find help with e.g. travel to work
how to budget once in work
employment rights and how to enforce them
that if you do the minimum necessary your employer will not promote you and may fire you

I wish I'd known that presentation is often more important than content

PostBellumBugsy Mon 20-May-13 16:34:06

Sorry, thought of a bit more.

The website is good. Clear & easy to navigate. As ever, I think the young people who need the advice given the most, will be the least likely to look at the website.

Are Barclays planning to take this around schools?

eatyourveg Mon 20-May-13 16:46:48

~ What are the skills you think young people really need today to get them ready for the workplace, and do you think they are being taught them?
Money management - ie similar to the units that are covered in the PSD foundation employability qualification eg different types of finance, understanding misleading marketing etc
Basic grammar - letter writing may seem old fashioned but being able to speak and write coherently is crucial for a successful career.
Work experience opportunities - helps students get a taste of different careers and may really spur on reluctant learners if they have a successful placement

~ Do you think things were any better when you were at school? Have things improved?
Yes things have definitely improved, there was no work experience when I went to school
No it has not got any better - students are less able to write and there is an increasing culture of entitlement so students are not as willing to be flexible and this has a knock on effect in their ability to work as a team

~ And what was the one thing you wish you had known before starting out in the world of work?
Money management

CMOTDibbler Mon 20-May-13 18:23:47

I don't interact that much with people in their first job, but DH meets a lot of them and he sees that many are unprepared to get things right first time (they are shocked that they don't get to do the tests again if they fail in their basic training for instance), in writing basic letters - not in txt speak for instance, and in taking responsibility for what they do. Not getting their parent to call in about things!

They also see a lot less willingness to take entry level jobs.

I was lucky in having parents that made me go and work pt from the age of 13 - I was responsible for getting jobs and working hard through school, sixth form and uni. When I got my first real job, I was well prepared to deal with office politics and had a sense of showing the commitment and flexibility. And knowing that I was the most junior and to get on with things!

headlesslambrini Mon 20-May-13 18:29:04

What are the skills you think young people really need today to get them ready for the workplace, and do you think they are being taught them?
- communication - it's amazing how many still want their mum's to ring up for them and find it difficult to maintain eye contact with people.
- spelling - they need to know that 'text' speak is not acceptable when writing a professional CV / Email
- a little bit of get up and go - how to show a little bit of enthusiasm would be good
- career management planning - how to set a realistic goal and the steps needed to achieve it.

Do you think things were any better when you were at school? Have things improved?

- no, much worse. Access to a professionally qualified careers person is dependent on whether or not the school has bought anything in. In some schools this is unlikely as they were not given any additional money in order to do this. This can mean that they get nothing in relation to how to produce a CV, how to write an application form to get the interview, how to prep for an interview.
- you can't simply get your local paper on 'jobs night' and go through it, it is much harder I think with the internet. At least then, they were pretty much all in one place but now they have to hunt for them on individual websites but the trouble is Young people don't know this and a lot of their parents have been in jobs or careers for a number of years and don't know this either.

And what was the one thing you wish you had known before starting out in the world of work?
- just how much things like reliability, confidence, how to talk to people, teamwork etc get's you on in your career.
- networking - this gets you the next contract / job / promotion. Don't underestimate it.

headlesslambrini Mon 20-May-13 18:31:36

sorry - forgot to say that I work within secondary education - careers, so could support, providing it goes through management <rolls eyes>

~ What are the skills you think young people really need today to get them ready for the workplace, and do you think they are being taught them?
- After running a series of recruitment drives and interviews, it became obvious very early on that these young people need to learn how to put a CV and cover letter together and how to come across professionally in an interview.
Learning by rote is not enough, there needs to be more hands on application. Maybe doing research/applying for work experience roles within school hours in a 'real life' scenario, rather than a placement.

~ Do you think things were any better when you were at school? Have things improved?
Attitudes to school and work were better. Teachers were trusted members of society and you wouldn't dream of being cheeky to them.
Teachers should be given more power to conduct their classrooms, but they have to earn this power first.
I also think that you shouldn't be allowed to be a teacher of high school etc until you're a bit older. There's so many people going into schools with no life experience or ability to hold their own.

~ And what was the one thing you wish you had known before starting out in the world of work?
Stay confident. Don't let little niggles get you down.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 20-May-13 20:12:28

headlesslambrini - do let us know what your "management" think - do free feel to share the main Barclays LifeSkills website link with them - there is more info there for teachers specifically and how they can get involved.

PostBellumBugsy - again have a look at the link - there are lots of opportunities for schools to find out more.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 20-May-13 20:12:50

thanks for all the feedback so far...

alreadytaken Mon 20-May-13 21:17:09

forgot to answer the Do you think things were any better when you were at school? Have things improved?

We had a careers adviser but they only ever suggested two things, neither of any interest to most of the pupils. Young people now are encouraged to think about a wider variety of options, even if they have to do the work themselves. So things have improved a little there.

I didn't have as much trouble finding work, Saturday jobs seem harder to come by and more dependent on who you know. However if you do get one there is a minimum wage, I was paid at slave labour rates. We didn't have work experience but we could have jobs.

Young people who were not academically minded could leave school and get work. They had pride in earning money and being "adult" when others were studying. I think it's worse today as we force them to stay in school and then tell them the jobs they can get are not worthwhile. We should go back to valuing those who work hard and take pride in doing their job well, regardless of the nature of that work.

I've now managed to take a quick look at the website from the most recent link. I didn't think it has enough about how to identify what jobs you might realistically get with your skills and how you can improve your skills other than at school but that may just be that I haven't looked hard enough.

BreatheandFlyAway Mon 20-May-13 21:20:16

What young people can be well grounded on before entering the workplace: the ability to compete maturely and negotiate intelligently.

I think we have missed a step here: pupils are not taught how to make that leap from failure to continuing to try with renewed determination. How to learn from mistakes.

Things weren't better or worse in my day, they were just different. We received no holistic or pastoral care and disability or difference were not nurtured. However we did know how to cope with knock backs and low grades and accept/ pick ourselves up. Not everyone CAN be top dog and in a well rounded society there's room and need for all abilities.

The one thing I wish I'd known before starting work: Good things don't come to those who wait, they come to those who go and get them.

itsnothingoriginal Mon 20-May-13 21:32:28

This thread makes me sad because until the government cuts there were Careers Advisers in schools and in the community providing careers advice, CV writing support and guidance.

Despite having a bad press in the past, in recent times lots of young people liked the support and the help Careers and Connexions Advisers could provide them them with all the questions listed above. Most of us have now lost our jobs but many of us were enthusiastic and totally committed to providing high quality careers advice. The Connexions service and careers advice in general is no longer available to most young people at a time when they need it most....

mrscog Mon 20-May-13 21:45:46

~ What are the skills you think young people really need today to get them ready for the workplace, and do you think they are being taught them?

I think the most important skills are knowing how to behave in a formal environment, how to self evaluate and accept advice/help with how to do something, how to accept constructive criticism and work on improving a skill even if it's not easy. I also think enthusiasm even if it's a really shit job is important, I once had a holiday job unstapling and then restapling a whole year's bookkeeping records ready for audit. Was it boring, hell yes, did I ever moan at work, no - it would have been 'unprofessional'. An awareness is needed what to moan about at home and what to nod and smile about at work.

~ Do you think things were any better when you were at school? Have things improved?
I don't know, we did have quite good careers advice at school, but to be honest what prepared me the most was loads of part time jobs from 15+, waitressing, reception work, office work, care work - all sorts. It gave me a really good idea about different career paths and it taught me a lot of basic skills.

~ And what was the one thing you wish you had known before starting out in the world of work? Aim high when you're young. When I finished uni I really wanted to go in to marketing, I shyed away from it as I thought I wouldn't be any good so I accepted an entry level admin role rather than applying for entry level marketing stuff, which in hindsight I'm sure I could have persevered and got.

ifindoubtnamechange Mon 20-May-13 22:01:46

What are the skills you think young people really need today to get them ready for the workplace, and do you think they are being taught them?
They need the absolute basics: what to wear, communicating in formal environments, timekeeping. Yes some young people are taught these, usually those who don't need extra help. The most disengaged and deprived young people are being further disadvantaged by not having these opportunities.

The website looks good but I am concerned that it will mainly be accessed by young people who are well enagaged with supportive schools and families. It would be good to hear more about how this can/will be marketed t those that need it most.

~ Do you think things were any better when you were at school? Have things improved? I don't remember being taught this stuff at school - learned what I needed to at home. Just my experience so can't say if things are better or worse now.

~ And what was the one thing you wish you had known before starting out in the world of work?
How to deal with workplace politics - or evenjust a head up about problems that could occur.

HannahLI Mon 20-May-13 22:07:27

~ What are the skills you think young people really need today to get them ready for the workplace, and do you think they are being taught them?
I don't think young people are being given the right tools. One thing that would really help get young people ready would be more tailored and appropriate work guidance when they are still at secondary school. I know that when I was this age the careers guidance I received was minimal and looking back wasn't the right advice for me at all. Personality testing is also really fun and helps to guide young people into the right careers. Attitude isn't really a skill but it is a really important part of succeeding in the workplace and many people young and old don't have the right one. Better core skills like maths, english and problem solving. Schools teach often to pass exams in these core areas rather than teaching how they can be used within the workplace.

~ Do you think things were any better when you were at school? Have things improved? I think they were different not better or worse. Often young people who are deemed "not as clever" are pointered towards apprenticeships as a get out clause without actually considering whether that is the right choice. Many don't stick with the scheme because it wasn't the right advice and the young people who would be excellent in these jobs are missed - leaving a lack in the actual workplace. I also think that work placements and taster days have been removed and the career guidance remains the same - unclear and lacking.

~ And what was the one thing you wish you had known before starting out in the world of work?
I wish I had known more about the range of jobs available. I just had no idea what I could really do as a job with my qualifications or the options that were available to me.

CheeryCherry Mon 20-May-13 22:59:55

Skills needed...good qualifications, an understanding of hard work, good social and language skills, good cv and interview skills, enthusiasm and honesty.
I am happy my DCs are being taught a lot of that at school, and we try to reiterate them at home.
Yes it is better now, children and teachers more aware of what is needed after GCSE/A levels, preparing them for the next steps.
I wish I had been encouraged to think more about career choices, given appropriate work experience, had advice on cvs and application forms. I needed more guidance at 6th form, regret my career choice, was planning to go into medicine but was never encouraged.
The one thing I wish I'd known? To speak to people in that career, find out more about it.

skyeskyeskye Mon 20-May-13 23:25:45

~ What are the skills you think young people really need today to get them ready for the workplace, and do you think they are being taught them?

Respect for those who know more than they do. Communications skills. A need to know that work gets you things, that you can't have everything you want in life.

~ Do you think things were any better when you were at school? Have things improved?

Things are worse. No respect or discipline now.

~ And what was the one thing you wish you had known before starting out in the world of work? Save some money, don't spend it all.

skyeskyeskye Mon 20-May-13 23:26:49

Actually one thing at schools is better. The ability to do NVQ's st school to learn something that might actually help in the workplace.

stephgr Tue 21-May-13 00:07:27

Young people need commercial and vocational skills which I don't think they get via GCSEs and A levels. They also need proper grammar spelling and arithmetic. So many young people can't even structure a sentence.

I think basic maths and English have deteriorated but they certainly have better IT skills now.

I wish I'd learnt to touch type.

Snog Tue 21-May-13 06:36:36

Budgeting skills
What an employer values in an employee and why

Cherrybright Tue 21-May-13 09:19:20

~ What are the skills you think young people really need today to get them ready for the workplace, and do you think they are being taught them?
I think that young people ( and some older too) need to know how to be professional, like mannerisms, how to speak to people, time keeping, and to have a realistic view of work - work is work. Some are, some aren't.

~ Do you think things were any better when you were at school? Have things improved?
I think that theres more of a lack of respect now, but It skills are better.

~ And what was the one thing you wish you had known before starting out in the world of work?
About tax, how hard it can be

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