Newham students challenge top UK firms over youth unemployment

Principal Di Gowland addresses the group.

Principal Di Gowland addresses the group. - Credit: Archant

Bosses from some of the UK’s biggest businesses have visited Newham College to explore the challenges facing students entering the job market.

Delegates arrive at Newham College.

Delegates arrive at Newham College. - Credit: Archant

Staff and students met with more than 20 CEOs and HR Directors from major companies including Unilever, Nestle and Capital One, in a bid to showcase the reality of youth unemployment and possible barriers after education.

Organised through Business in the Community, an enterprise-led charity aiming to create a fairer society by challenging and supporting businesses, the day took place with youth unemployment at an all-time high.

New figures show 32 per cent of men and a 25pc of women aged between 16-19 are currently of work.

In-depth discussions were held aiming to get business leaders to review their recruitment schemes and look outside the box for talent, showing how locality, lifestyles and challenges faced by youngsters can actually benefit employers.

Students in talks with top UK businesses.

Students in talks with top UK businesses. - Credit: Archant


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The education gap between GCSEs and A-Levels plus the need for specific, accurate career advice were among the other issues raised on October 9.

Employers were impressed by the students’ ability to meet, relax and discuss their chosen pathway with senior business leaders.

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College principal Di Gowland said: “We are always looking for businesses to engage with students and this fantastic event gave them invaluable insights into the business world.

“We would love even more businesses to meet students and help prepare them for successful careers.”

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