TalentTalent AcquisitionSecuring the younger generation by investing in them

Securing the younger generation by investing in them

With the talent landscape proving to be an ever-growing challenge, HRD Connect explores new career schemes that could be the answer to the future of talent attraction and retention.

As the job landscape consistently fluctuates there are many companies who could struggle to upskill and maintain their business landscape and equip their staff with the necessary skills to achieve their business goals.


With the induction of the digital environment, through artificial intelligence and automation, these new entrances to the world of work could aid business professionals in utilizing the full potential of their workforce by ensuring that they are fully equipped for ever-changing job roles. However with new generations and school leavers having an uncertain mindset on their future career aspirations, this option may not be viable to them if they don’t have the current skill set, worse yet, with the average worker changing careers five times in their work-life, it could be a potential challenge for employers who are looking to attract and retain the younger generations.

An approach that could be the answer to this challenge could be structured career programs, which is a strategy that international trade secretary, Liam Fox, MP, is aiming to execute well in order to guarantee that this pool of trading professionals is growing and succeeding.

“This scheme is different to most in that no qualifications are needed to apply. While many of the candidates are expected to be school leavers we expect to attract people who might want to switch careers. It may also appeal to business-minded people who have never considered working in the Civil Service. Global commerce involves people from all walks of life, so it makes sense that DIT also has people from a variety of backgrounds working for us too and there are opportunities to build a career.” said James Norton, HR Director, Director for the Department for International Trade (DIT).

The two-year structured development programme includes placements with the UK’s expert trade negotiating teams working on future trade agreements with partners like the United States and Australia. It also includes a six-month international placement in one of DIT’s 127 international offices, which will provide hands-on experience of negotiating market access, securing inward investment and boosting British exports.

James, who previously led a central recruitment function to support the whole of the Civil Service to recruit is no stranger to recruitment challenges and added: “While I can’t say too much about the selection process while the campaign is in progress, we’ve had to break away from traditional approaches. We know we are casting the net far and wide but will be using innovative approaches that will help us sift and select the very best candidates for this unique opportunity. However, the selection on merit and diversity remains at the core of our selection process.”

If this process proves to be a success, it could potentially overcome many challenges that HR and business professionals alike face, such as Brexit, Digital Disruption, and the growing skills gap. By implementing still a fairly new strategy in the world of HR, it could only be a matter of time until many other businesses chose to follow this approach.

“DIT will be investing in the training of the individuals, in addition to on-the-job training they will be supported by mentors, participate in action learning sets and provided with formal training to help them in their stretching and challenging roles and lay the foundation of a future career in International Trade,” concluded James.

Other companies that have also begun their plans to attract and retain the younger generations through these schemes are Vodafone and Sony, who last year announced a ground-breaking global collaboration, which sees them uniting to help millions of young people in 20 countries identify their skills and find digital jobs that match them.

With the future of digital roles still being uncertain, these companies that are keen to ensure that the future of the younger generation is positive and exciting career-wise are excited to see what the future holds for these new business methods.

“Our ambition is to help 10 million young people to access digital skills, learning and employment opportunities and our partnership with Sony Pictures will help us accelerate our progress towards this goal by bringing our digital platform, Future Jobs Finder, to more young people who are thinking about their future career. Future Jobs Finder has been specifically designed to help young adults make a connection between their skills and digital careers they may never have thought of. Together we can harness the power of technology, and the excitement around the movie, to engage with young people to help them realise their potential and play a role in closing the digital skills gap.” said Joakim Reiter, Director of External Affairs at Vodafone Group.

While DIT’s Chief Trade Negotiation Adviser Crawford Falconer concluded that this new scheme could open up exciting opportunities for young people in such a fast-changing and uncertain job market.

“This is a great opportunity to show young people that there is a whole range of careers in trade and, for the first time, DIT is opening up these opportunities. I look forward to working with some of these young people when they become entrepreneurs, exporters and even trade experts in my team.”

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