COMPANIES are to be encouraged to consider the benefits of employing young people during a week-long Scottish Government campaign.
The Make Young People Your Business drive is being launched today with the announcement of 70 new youth jobs at employment training firm Webhelp TSC in Glasgow.
The campaign is aimed at increasing the number of companies which will consider taking on young people directly from school, college or university.
According to the Scottish Government, just 25 per cent of businesses in Scotland have recruited young people straight from education in the last two-to-three years.
Ministers believe that companies shy away from taking on young people because they lack experience in the workplace. However, this has created a Catch 22-situation in which young people cannot get a job without experience and cannot get experience without a job.
As of June, the Scottish youth unemployment rate was 15.2 per cent, compared to 25.4 per cent in December 2011.
Only five European Union countries have a lower youth unemployment rate than Scotland, according to ministers at Holyrood.
Youth employment minister, Angela Constance said: “Webhelp TSC clearly need no convincing that young people are the future of their business, but in order to support more young people into jobs we need more employers to come on board with the idea that the younger generation can aid their economic growth.
“While our youth employment figures are moving in the right direction, we need more businesses to step up and give our talented young people the chance to shine.”
The Scottish Government claims that bringing young people in to the workforce can have measurable benefits.
Ministers believe young staff allow employers to develop a “talent pipeline”, reducing risks associated with unplanned retirements and staff absences; filling skills gaps by tailoring on-and-off the job learning to fit a company’s needs, and bringing in a flexibility and adaptability in terms of work patterns, as well as adding innovation.
Webhelp TSC chief executive officer David Turner said that once in jobs, they were able hone their recruits’ skills. He said: “We launched the customer experience academy as a pilot project a few months ago and now have 137 people in employment with us who have been through this process.
“We noted that there were a growing number of candidates who didn’t quite have the interpersonal skills to pass our recruitment tests. But they were only just failing. We felt that it wouldn’t take much to get them over the line and once they were in employment, they would blossom.”