The number of people applying for UK university places fell by more than 5 per cent last year, with a rise in young people choosing alternatives such as apprenticeships and internships. Interestingly, this year has also seen a 19 per cent increase in employers choosing to take on apprentices rather than graduates. Apprenticeships and traineeships are creating the highly skilled workforce that employers are looking for.
However, research has revealed that fifty per cent of small and medium-sized companies think that young people do not have the core non-technical skills needed for entry-level jobs, including problem-solving, organisation, punctuality and communication. So, what can young people do to make their transition from education into the workplace as easy as possible and keep productivity levels high?
Mike Davis, Head of SME at AXA PPP healthcare, comments:
“With traditional universities and schools so focused on academic education, young people are entering the workplace with a lack of basic business or workplace skills.”
“Finding the time to undertake experience can often be difficult, but ensuring your prepared in other ways such as time keeping and social media should provide a smooth transition into the workplace. Not only will this help you stand out from an already competitive application process, but it will also help keep productivity levels high when you enter into a working environment.”
To help make the transition from education to the workplace as smooth as possible, AXA PPP healthcare has put together five top tips for young people:
1. Gain work experience
According to research, 31 per cent of this year’s entry-level positions are expected to be filled by graduates who have already worked for their employer, either through paid internships, industrial placements or vacation work. Undertaking an internship will help you build knowledge and experience, and strengthen your C.V.
2. Strike a healthy work-life balance
Long working hours and the expectation to work overtime can have a detrimental effect on your health and wellbeing. 47 per cent of employees in SMEs across the UK said they regularly work 4 or more hours of overtime per week. Striking the right balance between work and play, and managing your time wisely, can lead to an overall increase in productivity.
3. Establish a routine
Sleep is essential to good mental wellness. Lack of sleep can make you feel moody and irritable – and over time this is likely to affect your relationships with people, your work and your mental wellbeing. Our research reveals that, when employees have problems with their sleep, almost half say that this adversely affects their work and career. Try to establish an evening schedule; this could be taking a hot bath, reading a book, or listening to calming music. Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day, even if you’re not feeling tired, to establish a good routine.
4. Harness the power of digital
Research has found that 92 per cent of recruitment agencies use social media to find high quality candidates, with 87% of recruiters [PS8] using Linkedin to look at an individual.
5. Eat well
According to a YouGov survey, only 58% of Brits say they always eat breakfast. Consuming a nutritious breakfast with slow releasing energy is key to having a productive day. Our blood sugar levels are at their lowest in the morning, so, a nutritious morning meal will help replenish lost energy and set you up for a productive day.
For more tips and guidance from the small business experts at AXA PPP healthcare, visit our Small Business Insight Centre.