Skip to main content
EMl Employing young people June 2024

Young workers can be an effective way to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled, and qualified workforce. However, the journey from education to the workplace can often be a difficult time as the change in approach and behaviour that is expected is significant.

The Gen Z cohort, who make up around 30% of the world’s population, are more diverse than any generation before them. These young adults have a unique set of skills and perspectives. They seek tech-savvy environments, prioritise wellbeing, diversity and inclusion, and value flexibility / work-life balance. However, although education and skills are crucial, they alone are not enough when entering the world of work for the first time.

Whilst induction programmes and employee handbooks will provide some written guidance and reference material regarding key expectations, employers can often take it for granted that young people will adapt easily and automatically know how to use manners, understand office etiquette and behave appropriately.

Pranks played on a fellow student which could result in a complaint of bullying in education or even expulsion in some cases, may have far more serious consequences when the same behaviours take place in work. There is a risk of significant exposure to both the employer and the employee, and termination of employment is a real possibility. For young people, the knock-on effects of losing their job can be disastrous in terms of their financial stability and future employment prospects.

The reality is that young people lack experience when it comes to knowing what’s acceptable in the workplace and what’s not. It isn’t part of any education curriculum, so how do they learn?

To get the best out of young people entering the workplace, we believe it’s vital to open their eyes to the realities involved in the transition from full-time education to employment. Our World of Work training programme is aimed at school / college and university leavers, placement students, new apprentices and newly employed (or soon to be employed) young workers in general. The objective is to help provide a smooth transition by addressing the lack of soft skills that can be a source of frustration for employers and so often results in the employment of young people failing.

Delivered by Jo Mills, HR Consultant and trained facilitator, this fun and interactive session focuses on understanding workplace etiquette and provides a refresher on workplace rules and the reality of what can go wrong if they are not followed.

Topics covered in the programme include:

  • Communication – TTYL, TBH, BRB….acronyms have become a trend among young people. This topic discusses appropriate verbal and written communication and how it’s important to know your audience.
  • Absence & Timekeeping – “My dog is ill”, and “I missed the bus”. Some excuses we’ve heard before. Here we examine the importance of arriving on time and the cost of poor attendance.
  • Office Banter – What one employee considers to be harmless banter could be inappropriate or offensive for others. Here we discuss how banter can quickly escalate into bullying and the consequences this can have.
  • Social Media – Social media is an integral part of our daily lives. It’s therefore important to understand the serious consequences of using social media to express your views about work or make derogatory comments that could constitute harassment and bullying.
  • Work Social Events – Unacceptable behaviour on work social events could result in disciplinary action and put the company into disrepute. This topic discusses what is expected when representing the company outside of the workplace.

If you’re an employer recruiting young workers this summer, get in touch to find out when our next open World of Work course is running. Alternatively, if you have a large group of young talent that would benefit from this programme, we can design and deliver a bespoke in-house session at a convenient time for your organisation. For more information contact us on 01942 727200 or email for a no obligation chat.