Leaving education at the age of 18 can be daunting. With so many opportunities on the table, it can be hard to make a decision about which sector, profession or vocation to choose. Many immediately enter the workplace, either through an apprenticeship or a trainee position.
One of the UK’s leading HR and recruitment agencies, Gi Group, is here to help those school leavers, aged 18 and over, that are unsure which route to take. There is a wealth of exciting and intriguing potential career paths available to young adults in 2023.
Sales Enablement Coach at Gi Group, Nikki Westwood, explains more about what young people can expect in the current workplace landscape…
Apprenticeships are great!
“Young people in the UK have to stay in education until the age of 18, or take up an apprenticeship earlier. Apprenticeships are fantastic ways to get people into the working world, no matter their age. Internally, at Gi Group, we have had lots of success stories with onboarding apprentices across the business within all aspects of what we do.
“Operationally, we have had trainee recruitment consultants, that have been on recruitment consultant Level 3 or Level 2 apprenticeships. Within our central functions, we’ve had Accounts and Payroll apprentices, as well as IT and also Marketing. There’s lots of opportunity within those departments in particular – certain areas such as Marketing and Digital are always going to be interesting to young people, which tells us a lot about what the schools are pushing too!
“Recently, we announced our new Driver Apprenticeship Schemes, in partnership with our sister company Tack TMI, which will begin rolling out in September across the UK. It is really exciting to see everyone given an opportunity to reach their dream role, and programmes like these give apprentices a full support package, from bespoke training to helping each successful candidate secure their dream role once fully qualified.
“Industries such as Technology, Marketing and Sales are booming at the moment. People want to be involved in these exciting, upwardly mobile industries, that give employees opportunities to showcase their creativity and personable abilities.
“Anything consumer-led will continue to do well, regardless of major societal events, such as the pandemic. One of the great things over the last three years is that individuals don’t need to be sat in the same office as one another in order to secure collaborative work experiences. We have a truly global workforce now and it gives people opportunities to understand different cultures and identify opportunities outside of their region.
…and those experiencing severe skills shortages
“Engineering and Manufacturing industries that are undergoing severe skills shortages at the moment. There are older members of those workforces that are coming towards the end of their careers, but there simply is not the wave of fresh talent coming back into the industry.
“The evolution of automation and AI has removed some of the more labour intensive roles within these areas. There are lots of opportunities to get into these industries, that might not seem the most attractive, but in future, if not already, those skills are going to be in huge demand.
“I’d look to upskill where possible within these types of industries, as well as trades that are an everyday necessity, such as plumbers and electricians, as eventually those skills are going to be hugely desirable. In the future, it might be that sales and marketing professionals are ten a penny, while those more highly sought-after will be those with skills within these currently less popular industries – which is an exciting prospect for those who upskill early and get ahead.”
No matter what you do, make sure this happens
“Learning in a working environment is critical to the success of individuals.
“It is paramount that young people are around their more experienced senior colleagues to ensure they are progressing. 70% of learning happens through transferring of skills and knowledge: sitting, observing and listening to how your colleagues communicate and operate in the working environment.
“To learn in the flow of work is critical to help aide that 70% of learning. Remote working is great, but we recommend to have an option of flexible working, that ensures some time spent in the office environment too, in order to gain that experience.
“It is all about the nuances of a job and industry – these in-person skills are what help people move upwards in the career chain. You can’t remotely teach the learnings that come from working alongside that level of experience, and also the etiquettes of working.
“Apprenticeships give people the opportunity to expose themselves to a greater level of experience and getting out there within the working world, that may have them stand out when it comes to those candidates of a similar age that may have university qualifications, but are lacking that lived in, real-life experience.”
Don’t be put off by history
“There is a stigma surrounding many of the industries we work with. We are aware many industries such as Engineering and Manufacturing have a history of being traditionally male-dominated industries. We are enjoying seeing more progressive, different voices added to the sector, as the Government is encouraging more women to get into these sectors, as well as more a nurturing a more culturally and neuro diverse workforce.
“Our Diversity & Inclusion team work with our clients to ensure that their practices and policies are equal and diverse, encouraging people from all backgrounds. As a business, we always encourage our customers to make their roles as open to all as possible. We would similarly offer the same advice to young people who are looking for roles- do not think that a certain industry or position is off-limits due to your gender, age or background.
“Keep your options and ideas open to all possibilities and really nail down what it is you want to achieve with your career, rather than your decision being affected by history and what has gone before you.
“We believe that the future can be shaped by a diverse set of young, innovative and driven employees.”
If you’ve just left school and are aged 18 or over and you’re interested in discovering how Gi Group can boost your employability, visit its website today: uk.gigroup.com.