Next year WE will...!

Monday 29 December 2014

It’s almost time for the “New Year, New Me” talks to start, a time when we start to think about the New Year and the changes we’d like to see happen in our lives.

NadineThe most popular ones we hear are: “Next year I’m going to lose weight”, “This year I’m going to quit smoking” or “I think I’ll start going to the gym”. Although there are many things I’d like to change in my personal life over the years to come, I feel that employers and organisations need a couple of New Year’s resolution.’s also; it is a Catch 22 situation after all; if we’re not given the opportunity we’ll have no experience, if we have no experience then we’re not given the opportunity.

So instead of coming up with a New Year’s resolution that I most probably won’t stick to past the 20th January, I’ve decided to create a list of New Year’s resolutions for employers and support agencies to help more young women back into employment. I propose that:

1. A team of dedicated government officials is put into place to support those learning on a part time basis. Currently a woman over the age of 19 cannot afford to go back to education full-time unless she has substantial savings to support herself whilst learning. The statutory living maintenance loans, living maintenance grants and special support grants are not available for part-time learners.

2. Those that are currently out of work and are signed up to a support service such as the Jobcentre or the Work Programme are given tailored and personalised support to get them back into work but most importantly, careers. There is no point in advisors referring clients to vacancies that the individual has no interest in, no experience in and no prospects, this will only end up in them returning in six months’ time.

3. Employers give application feedback to their top 10 candidates. Generic responses like “thank you for your application but you do not meet our criteria” does not help anyone in their search for work. How are we to improve our chances of finding a job if we do not know how or what we need to enable us to do so?

Young women want to work, young women need to work, and young women desperately need a positive future. It is after all this generation of young women who will take over from those working now. If we don’t give young women a chance to showcase their skills and talents now and don’t give them the support and feedback they need to get them into work then we’ll have workers aged 60 plus carrying the weight of young women who have insufficient experience because they were never given the opportunity.

A change needs to take place now not just for our futures but for working futures as a whole. I guess you could say this is my New Year’s Resolution.