The latest youth unemployment figures indicate that the number of those out of work in the UK has fallen to a five-year low – at 6.9% of the adult working population – but there are still areas of concern, notably youth unemployment at a stubbornly high 19.1%. More than a million under-24s are currently out of work and not studying or training.
When it comes to getting the young into full-time work, one country that performs particularly well is Germany, which has youth unemployment of only 7.5%. Having the strongest in Europe is only part of the picture; experts attribute much of this success on the jobs front to Germany’s apprenticeship system, which aims to equip youngsters for working life.
The concept of focused, on-the job vocational training for those in education is something that GForces has long embraced, notably through the GForces Academy. Launched in 2010, our Academy assists young people – many from education establishments across Kent – by offering a host of inspiring opportunities that add impetus and structure to their professional development, ensuring they have a clearer sense of career direction and meaningful industrial experience on their CV.
It’s very important to GForces that we are able to offer such training programmes. Not only do we hope to inspire enthusiastic new talent and provide them with hands-on experience beyond that of traditional education, but also to help influence how colleges and universities better meet the needs of employers. By trying to address the mismatch between skills and jobs and investing in the young, we are actively helping to reduce youth unemployment in our county, and beyond.
As well as the opportunity to accrue valuable work skills and mentoring from industry professionals, GForces’ Academy encourages students to participate in company activities – better still they’re paid during their internship, which can be something of a rarity with such schemes.
We’ve had some fantastic feedback from our interns that have had placements in a range of disciplines, from Web Marketing and Development, to Graphic Design, CSS and Project Management, and over the next few months we will share some of their thoughts through this blog.
Here’s a taster, from Charlotte Wright of the University of Kent:
“I’m working within the Development team and my internship here has involved a great deal of work on database adjustments, customising the back-end content-management system and implementing site change requests. I’ve also spent time with the Social Media Marketing team as their developer, setting up basic Facebook welcome applications, valuation widgets and competition pages to help build a stronger social media presence for their clients.
“My personal highlight while working at GForces has been having the opportunity to help develop the company’s own new website. It was a proud moment to be entrusted with such an important task and was extremely satisfying to see the finished product going live.
“I would highly recommend an internship at GForces to those currently pursuing a degree or higher education diploma. I was able to really get involved in various aspects of the company as well as work for some really big brands and build my professional and personal skills, better equipping me for when I graduate.”