Future Leaders Employment Services aims to eliminate barriers to employment by preparing, supporting and championing youth job seekers to be prepared for their working lives. We achieve a sustainable outcome for our youth by placing them into full time or part-time employment or study.
Barriers to youth employment is a complex issue. Youth do not have the ease of entry into the workforce or employment stability that past generations enjoyed. There is a greater demand from employers for youth to enter the workforce with soft skills as well as qualifications. Soft skills are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively with other people – arguably some of the most important skills to have to succeed in the workforce.
The Auckland Co-Design Lab was sponsored by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the Ministry of Social Development to research youth barriers to employment in South Auckland and documented their research in a report called “The Attitude Gap Challenge Report”. The purpose of this report was to understand the differences between young people’s and employers’ expectations of work readiness, and the impact of these differences on youth under-employment in South Auckland. The findings are also relevant to other parts of New Zealand. The report found that the gap is not simply because of attitude, but a clash of many issues, such as norms and expectations, and ethical and generational differences that occur throughout the employment journey.
Findings of The Attitude Gap Challenge Report can be summarised below:
- Employment expectations and ambitions of young people are built through the experiences they have early on, so having positive connections with employers is important for building ambition and networks for young people.
- The process of applying for jobs can be demotivating for young people who do not understand what employers are looking for. Employers get frustrated that young people present poorly and that the recruitment process is costly.
- Young people often struggle with the unfamiliar processes of the workplace, which frustrates employers who see workplace culture as the norm.
- Differences in expectations and how these are communicated can impede success once in the workplace. Young people don’t understand progression opportunities which can demotivate them, while employers are waiting to see motivation before they discuss progression and development.
- Young people often need support to balance their home and community responsibilities.
- Employers and young people recognise that they need to change, but feel they lack the information and support to do so.
Overall, the report highlights the importance of employers, service providers, young people and their whānau working together to improve employment outcomes for young people wanting to enter the workforce.
At Future Leaders Employment Services, we work to help our youth clients and employers to have a mutually beneficial working relationship. We work with our youth clients to get them work ready and motivated, supporting them to achieve their career goals in their preferred industries. Our programmes empower youth by developing self-leadership behaviours, practical competence, and soft skills to overcome the barriers of employment.
Our flagship Youth FOCUS Programme includes work preparation topics such as CV and covering letter preparation, interview skills, goal setting, and financial/ budgeting skills. In addition, we will facilitate attainment of qualifications that help to enter the work force, such as drivers’ licences, forklift licences, hospitality licences, first aid certificates and the like – qualifications which help our clients kick start their careers in their desired career field as well as being beneficial to employers. Once placed into employment, our mentors will remain in close contact with our client for six months, ensuring that the transition into employment is as smooth as possible for both the client and the employer.
To assist our clients obtain jobs in their preferred industries, Future Leaders Employment Services have established an Employer Business Partner Programme with a network of trusted employers. This ability to connect directly with employers helps to bridge the gap with youth job seekers and mitigate those barriers to employment. Our employment placement service is a free service for employers.
If you are an employer who regularly hires staff, we are always looking for companies or organisations to join our Employer Business Partner Programme. Benefits to employers in our programme include:
- There are no recruitment costs for staff placement.
- There are no fees to join our Employer Business Partner Programme.
- We work with your hiring team to provide staff that fit your staffing requirements.
- The staff we provide you with have been through our intensive ready for work programme and will continue to be supported and mentored for a 6-month period.
- Our Youth Employment Mentors will support both the employer and the client to ensure the employment placement is successful.
- We work as a partnership to mutually benefit each other.
Some of our long-standing Employer Business Partners have provided some feedback of their experiences with working with us.
“I have worked with Future Leaders for five years and they walk the talk. The team is a highly experienced bunch who bring a skill set which works well with their youth employment program. The team are highly effective and professional leaders who are able to relate and resonate with youth.
The youth I have engaged with through the Future Leaders programme are motivated, have a high self-esteem and have an intangible skill set that is unique to their programme. Those intangibles are called hope, faith and belief that they can find their place in society and succeed in life.
Finally, one unique aspect or point of difference that sets Future Leaders apart from the rest is that they do not give up once an outcome is achieved. They have a habit of following up with their clients, and they continue to provide pastoral care and ongoing support for those who may be struggling to adjust to their new working environment. If things are not quite going according to plan they re-engage and find a solution that meets the needs of their clients.”
Barry Walsh – Taylor Preston Ltd
“Our experience with Future Leaders has been absolutely brilliant. The employment placements have benefited our company and the young people, where they have been able to build up tangible skills. Skills where they have been able to work overseas and then come back and work for us.
The Youth Employment Mentors are key to the Employer Programmes success and we have valued the interactions we have had. I wouldn’t hesitate to hire guys from your scheme again.”
Mike Roche, Window Cleaning Contractors
Barriers to employment is not a new concept, however barriers and the gap between employers and youth is greater than ever before. As employment placement service providers, we tackle the gap to ensure that our youth can enjoy bright futures. Reducing barriers one by one and providing our unique 6-month pastoral care model is a proven recipe for success, as quick fixes simply fail to solve the societal problem.
Our Employer Business Partner Programme continues to grow as word spreads of the service we provide to both youth and employers. Our partners value our programmes and are grateful for the opportunity to hire work-ready, motivated, and supported staff.
Future Leaders have been bridging the gap between our youth and employers since 2014, and we will continue to engage, motivate and remove employment barriers for our rangatahi/youth to gain sustainable outcomes so they can lead fulfilling lives.