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Futures at Stake 2020

Futures at Stake 2020, a report from The Prince’s Trust and Govia Thameslink Railway, surveyed young people, teachers and employers reveals all groups share concerns for young people’s future prospects and agree that more could be done to support them to realise their potential.

4 young boys and girls outside

Our Prince’s Trust report with Govia Thameslink Railway warns of looming skills crisis as employers struggle to recruit the right skills

UK employers are warning of a looming skills crisis, according to a new report from The Prince’s Trust and Govia Thameslink Railway.

  • Almost half of employers agree that there is currently a skills shortage across the UK (47%), and a quarter believe there will be a shortage in five years’ time
  • Almost three-quarters agree the recruitment of young people is vital to avert a skills crisis in their sector (73%)
  • More than half of employers say they struggle to recruit people with the skills their organisation needs (59%)

According to the report, Futures at Stake 2020, one in three employers believe traditional recruitment practices are perpetuating skills shortages (36%), while almost half agree that these recruitment practices are no longer working and need to be more innovative (48%).

Download the report (pdf, 841kb)

Dame Martina Milburn, Group Chief Executive of The Prince’s Trust said:

Young people are key to solving current skills shortages and avoiding a future skills crisis. However, some employers use recruitment processes that make it hard for them to fill vacancies, as well as making it hard for young people to get their first job. It is vital that employers start thinking about recruitment differently.

“The Prince’s Trust works with employers to give all young people the chance to succeed. We provide employers with innovative methods of recruitment, such as our short pre-apprenticeship courses for young people, and we are relentless in our efforts to ensure all young people have the tools they need to start their career.”

Patrick Verwer, Chief Executive of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) said: “This research highlights how employers need to adapt their practices to attract young people to avoid a skills crisis in their organisations.

At GTR, we recognise the value that young people can bring to the workforce and how, with the right support and opportunities, they can get on the career ladder and be active players in the economy. We’re proud to have helped hundreds of young people through our partnership with The Prince’s Trust to boost their confidence and be inspired to build a future for themselves.

Govia Thameslink Railway has been a partner of The Prince’s Trust for the past five years. Together, GTR and The Trust run “Get into Railways” – a pre-employability programme to help young people get work ready and into careers in rail.

The programme combines real work experience with classroom based activities, to equip young people with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to get into work.

To date, more than 180 young people have been supported and 77% of these have gone into jobs with GTR.

Key report findings

  • Almost half of employers believe that there is a skills shortage in the UK
  • Over half of employers say they struggle to recruit people with the skills they need
  • 7 in 10 teachers worry pupils will not be prepared for work when they leave school
  • 64% of employers believe that school leavers lack the skills they need for work
  • 64% of young people believe employers should place more emphasis on personal strengths than on experience
  • 6 in 10 young people feel that their education has not prepared them for the reality of the workplace
  • 1 in 4 16-18 year olds in full-time education admit they have truanted in the past 12 months
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Najla Almutairi

Najla Almutairi, 27, completed the Get into Railways programme with Govia Thameslink Railway, and now is a Station Assistant on the platform at London Victoria.

Read her story

Ben standing on train

Ben O'Day

Turn the clock back six years and Ben had just finished sixth form and was unsure what to do next. Working with Govia Thameslink Railway changed his life.

Read his story

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