THE BLOG

Experience Is the Key to Empowering Our Young People

06/03/2013 14:32 GMT | Updated 06/05/2013 10:12 BST

For most young people, working out what they plan to do with their life is a daunting experience.

In terms of settling on a career, making decisions invariably involves a process of trial and error - of determining what sort of job they are suited to and seeking out as much information as possible about available opportunities.

In order to make an informed decision, it's essential that young people receive qualified advice and have access to resources to help them understand the full extent of the options available to them.

Given the state of the current economic climate and the increasing saturation of Britain's job market, getting good advice early on in the job-seeking process has never been so important.

The biggest difficulty for today's youth remains ensuring they have the necessary skills demanded by the 21st Century workplace, as well as the confidence and can-do attitude that makes them stand out from the crowd.

By engaging with potential employers and making the most of the chance to gain real, hands-on business experience, young people not only improve their skillset but also get the opportunity to demonstrate they have a possible future at a company.

As such, getting work experience at a young age continues to be a good way for young people to improve their employability.

Monday saw the launch of this year's National Careers Week, which celebrates the range of careers guidance and resources available in schools and colleges across the UK.

This long-running initiative aims to provide a focus for careers guidance activity at an important stage in the academic calendar, in order to help young people leaving education enter the working world.

Schools and colleges from across the country have coordinated events that will connect students with prospective employers as well as engage them with the process of deciding their career options.

For students, being able to attend workshops and careers fairs provides an opportunity to improve their chances of securing employment when the time comes. For employers, taking part allows access to an army of potential recruits.

Events like National Careers Week inspire young people to actively seek out opportunities. This is something that we at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy applaud and encourage.

Our work focuses on training and motivating young people to unleash their entrepreneurial talent and realise their potential. We offer encouragement and support to individuals and try to empower them with the confidence to take informed risks, learn through experience and ultimately become more employable.

The Academy was set up with a mission to inspire Britain's youth and I am passionate about continuing to make this a reality.

Central to our ethos is giving students hands-on business experience through a learning-by-doing curriculum and enabling young people to have real life experience of working in a business environment through enterprise-focused BTECs, Apprenticeships and work-placements.

We've found that these schemes are the best way of ensuring our students are able to enter the job-market ready to work, with the experience and skills they learn invariably resulting in positive starts to their careers.

The results have proved to be good news for employers, which is why we're supported by over 100 leading businesses across the UK.

For any business owner, building a base of brilliant employees is crucial for the fortune of their enterprise. Without a solid group of skilled workers that can be relied upon to get the best results, making a success of their company will prove difficult.

Employers are always on the look out for something in their new recruits that marks them out for bigger things, for an ambition and vision that will shape and drive their company forward.

In this time of high youth unemployment, there has never been a bigger need to do all we can to ensure that the young people of today are as prepared for the working world as they can be.

Initiatives like National Careers Week not only get students thinking about career options, they motivate and inspire a desire for self-enhancement and improvement. This needs to be celebrated.