Tips and tools to employ young people - the Future Ready Summit focus

7 Aug 2017
Jody Hamilton, Social Impact Manager

Future Leaders Participants 01 

"The best thing in New Zealand that you can give anyone is a job"- Sir Stephen Tindall, The Warehouse and Tindall Foundation Founder

By 2020 half of the global workforce will be Generation Y or Millennials. That means fifty per cent of workers will be 36 or younger. 

As employers, we need to make sure we are well positioned to attract this talent. 

The Future Ready Summit was designed to help business leaders and employers find, hire, manage and mentor young people. A huge number of employers – nearly 250 people - gathered in Auckland to hear global experts, business leaders and talent acquisition specialist's talk about what works and what doesn't - when recruiting and employing young New Zealanders. 

The big turnout reflects the skills shortage businesses face and, more importantly, the real concern the business community has for young New Zealanders who aren't in work, education or training. Sustainable Business Council members tell us they don't want to see anyone left behind - they are particularly focused on helping disadvantaged young Kiwis get into meaningful work. 

I talked about some of the simple things businesses can do to employ more young people:

* Open up your workplace for site visits and work experience, so that local young people understand what your business does
* Consider the wording of job ads to ensure it doesn't automatically exclude the young people you are aiming to recruit, e.g. don't use the phrase "work experience" if you are prepared to hire someone who is committed and prepared to learn
* Recruit in groups or pairs if you can, as this often provides a support network for the new employees

So what are the key opportunities for New Zealand businesses? As summarised by Jeffery Wallace we need to: 

* Advocate for policies that expand equitable access to opportunities for the next generation of talent
* Communicate current and future talent needs
* Innovate and institutionalise good practices, so we can develop a strong pipeline of future workers from all areas of New Zealand

One of the big opportunities we have as businesses is utilising our purchasing power for social good. We can encourage our suppliers to support youth employment too.

The focus on business-led approaches ensured the Summit was on point – we heard from many New Zealand businesses that have successfully employed young people. SBC Members like The Warehouse and SKYCITY offered up many insights, practical approaches and tools to help other businesses employ more young Kiwis. SBC and BusinessNZ have captured many of those on video, and will circulate those videos in the next week. So stay tuned!

Search #FR2017 on social media (facebook, Instagram, twitter, Linkedin) to find posts from the event.