Friday, December 16, 2016 – Forbes
Young people today face an excruciating paradox when entering the workforce.
After spending years obtaining the necessary training and accreditation for potential careers, they’re shut out from entry-level jobs because they lack “work experience”.
It’s a ridiculous blocker because what person really has any relevant “work experience” straight out of school? I’ve seen the frustration in many young people who have worked hard to achieve good grades and have racked up countless hours volunteering, interning, or donating their skills to hopefully one day bridge their efforts toward paid work. Time and time again those young workers are told that the experience accrued is still not enough.
I’ve previously written that it’s time for unpaid training like internships to be dismantled; and instead, encourage governments and corporations to enact apprenticeship programs with a decent base pay and ability to earn hours through relevant work opportunities.
I’m always on the hunt for unique public or private experiments that are making positive contributions toward labor transformation. WorkingNation, a US based non-profit, has been building alliances with all sorts of programs that are tackling the looming employment crisis. They shared a few key partner services that are offering young people a pathway to paid work.
Here are four unique initiatives that aim to provide young workers with paid entry-level work experience:
Service Year is a one-year paid work experience opportunity that is tied to community involvement. The program offers candidates the chance to gain experience while serving the community in areas like healthcare, education, disaster relief, and more. Service Year is not just tied to people who are still in school. The program matches students and professionals who are considering a career change or time off from work to make a positive contribution to society.
Year Up is a one-year intensive training program geared toward low-income adults between 18-24. The program offers a combination of hands-on professional skills development that can also be used toward college credits. The program provides candidates with an educational stipend, on-the-job experience through a corporate partner, and are supported throughout by mentors and social services staff. Check out this short documentary on Year Up for more information.
The College for Social Innovation has a unique model. It’s a blended learning and experience program largely geared towards problem solving and skills development. Participants complete a semester of learning in conjunction with their university or college, and then spend 15 weeks on the job with a partner “social innovation fellow”. The 15 week work experience program includes mentoring and exposure to other problem solving workshops and training sessions.
Generation comes via the McKinsey Social Initiative and claims to have placed thousands of students between the ages of 18-29 into paying jobs across five countries. It’s an intentional program that is built around matching students and employers after students complete a short “bootcamp” program. Ongoing feedback, mentoring and monitoring offers students and the Generation program to improve how candidates fit into specific job opportunities with corporate partners. The program’s employer list spans some well-known large companies in India, Spain, the United States, Mexico, and Kenya.
Read online here.