Where Are All The Opportunities For All This Talent?
It's undoubtable that today we know very well that you do not need to go to university and get a degree to be worthwhile. There are many options available to you, including apprenticeships, training and work placements.
We know that only around 50% of young people are choosing go to university, yet the majority of junior positions require a degree. So, what we want to know is, what about that other 50%? How do they get started on a career path?
Yesterday we attended the Wired Sussex 2018 Talent Fest in Brighton, and we met so many young people with heaps of drive and potential (including university graduates and those who had never been) that it left us wondering, why are employers claiming a talent shortage?
And the answer comes down to advertising. Too often, junior roles are advertised as graduate-only roles, yet they don't actually specify which degree is required. To me, and I'm sure to a lot of you, this makes no sense. If an employer cannot express why they want a graduate (with no specific degree topic), why should said graduate get such an advantage over someone who has valuable work experience, a desire and eagerness to learn and is willing to train on the job?
It's important to remember that there are many reasons why someone may not choose to go to university - and often it can be because they simply can't afford to. So why should those people be penalised? Actually, there's a great deal of talent out there, and just because they don't have a university degree, I don't believe they should be forgotten. Do you?
The real problem lies with the amount of opportunities there are. Realistically, there is heaps and heaps of talent out there within our youth. The issue is that there aren't enough opportunities to suffice them. We need more equality in the roles offered - the priority shouldn't be focused on 50% of our youth, it should be for 100% of it. We need to make these chances for them, because it's simply not fair ignoring them. After all, our youth is our future.
After attending university myself for 1 year, I can safely say that another 2 years spent completing my course would NOT have given me what I needed to thrive in the working world. Sure, I would've been armed with a degree, but that isn't enough to make me stick out from the crowd anymore. I would have left uni with no real work experience and no taste of the real working world. Honestly, I have learnt FAR more being an apprentice for 9 months than I did after a year at university, I assure you.
Experience is what our youth needs. So, let's give it to them. I'd like to reflect on something our co-founder, Caroline, said during her talk at the Skills Summit today, as part of the Talent Fest. She said that we all have someone who gave us our first opportunity, and we all need to be the person who gives someone else their first opportunity.
Experience is where it all starts, so rather than denying those with no experience the chance to get any, let's create opportunities for them. Kapeesh?
If you're a young person looking for work, or an employer looking for talent, I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Do you think we have a talent shortage? Do you think we need to create more, and better, opportunities? Let me know in the comments below...