Hopefully you all sorted but just in case you are not…..
It is not too late to get into college. Contact your local colleges directly talk about spaces on courses, even if your grades are not what you hoped.
You could also consider apprenticeships http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk is a good starting point.
Check what support your local authority is offering. Some still offer job hunting support.
Look at adult education. If college is not for you there may be adult education courses running in your area that would suit you better. These can also fit round work.
Consider getting some voluntary experience http://www.do-it.org.uk is a nationwide database of opportunities.
See if Princes Trust operate in your area. They offer a team programme for 16-25 year olds to help them gain skills for employment.
Check out the National Careers Service website for tips on jobhunting.
1. Qualifications. These are important. If you do not have yours yet then predicted grades can be used. This section of an application form may be where an employer looks first – do not leave it blank!
2. Get experience. Any experience of work (paid or unpaid) is valuable when starting out.
3. Develop transferable skills. This experience can help you prove you are reliable, trustworthy and punctual.
4. Develop your work ethic. Work hard and do it enthusiastically! Make your employer wonder how they ever managed without you.
5. Portfolio. Build a portfolio – school charity events you have been involved in, attendance certificates, work experience reports – anything positive can be kept in a nice folder to show potential employers. This is also useful revision for interviews.
6. Skills. Consider what jobs best suit your skills rather than applying for everything. If you do apply for different jobs tailor each application.
7. Contacts. Make as many people as possible aware that you are looking for work. Many jobs are gained through personal contacts and never need to be advertised.
8. Speculative approaches. Don’t wait for a company to be advertising. Approach them directly- particularly if you want to do something quite specialist
9. Social Media. Increasingly companies are advertising their vacancies to their followers.
10. Be Flexible. Offer to work the shift no-one else is keen to work. Be available at short notice.
Zero contracts are in the news today hailed as bad news. I would argue that for young people starting out they are a good way of getting on the career ladder and gaining vital experience. It can also be a useful way to fit work around study or family. If zero hour contracts were made unlawful it would be young people starting out who would disproprtionately feel the consequences.
Often young people are told they are lacking experience to be considered for employment. Voluntary positions can be a useful insight into different types of employment while giving that all important experience. General employment related skills can be developed such as communication and workplace etiquette. Voluntary work is often misunderstood as cheap labour or as an alternative lifestyle choice. Voluntary work should be seen as a mainstream option, this could be helping with one off events or a small regular commitment. It allows people to be part of their community and mix with people they otherwise wouldn’t. There are many causes out there that need support, for young people their school may be a good place to start. Find out more at http://www.do-it.org.uk or your local volunteer bureau.
Changes to Careers and training advice for young people have left many young people with no-one to turn to about their options. Many feel pressure to find THE job they want to do without any first hand knowledge of the world of work. Young people have been told to stay in education and that qualifications will get them a good job, yet increasingly young people need more than the qualifications alone. I want to help young job hunters see what else they can do to stand out, to develop themselves as individuals not just as employees but as individuals on life journeys. I want people to share their experiences of job interviews to help others and to raise awareness of opportunities in their local area.