Author Darrell “Coach D” Andrews Provides Insights into Helping Youth Bridge the Entrepreneur-Employment Gap in 2022
The low employment rates and outright refusal by many to enter employment post-pandemic is one of the significant mysteries of our times. It is evident that COVID19 profoundly affected how individuals view work, but one group that is being overlooked is the next generation of workers—our youth. “Employers are fully not understanding the shift toward business and self-employment that is taking place with this generation of youth,” Proclaims Andrews, Workforce Development Consultant and Author of “The Purpose Living Teen-A Teen’s Guide To Living Your Dreams.” “There are millions of dollars being spent on apprenticeship initiatives, and many kids go along with the program. However, in their minds, they are thinking, “How can I turn this into my own business?” “This generation of youth was raised on YouTube and watched their peers make millions of dollars by monetizing pages, selling products and becoming spokesperson for companies,” states Andrews. Getting them to consider a long career with a company will take ingenuity and creativity! Business, as usual, is out the door.
There needs to be a better analysis and collaboration of efforts between schools and employers to understand youth mindsets–designed to prepare the next generation of workers. A few possibilities to consider from our professional opinion are:
Embrace Their Entrepreneurial Spirit – Rethink how we position job assignments by making them a little entrepreneurial. Some companies allow more flex time, project-focused and team-focused work assignments. Look for youth input on various work projects to help them feel a little ownership.
Employment Readiness In High School – There is a significant emphasis in secondary education on college readiness, but what about employment readiness? Many youths are going right into the workplace. Schools can assist by adding a curriculum that focuses on soft skills, job readiness, and 21st Century employability skills. Students should be allowed to work in think tanks analyzing the connection between school and work coupled with an entrepreneurial interest.
Create Youth Employment-Entrepreneur Focus Groups – Many times, schools, businesses, and organizations try to address youth-related issues with adults in the room—no youth! Youth are more intelligent than we know and can help us better understand their needs. We desperately need to get our youth involved analyzing their career futures.’
There is no silver bullet to address these issues. Still, companies and education institutions need to reconsider the millions of dollars they are spending on what they think youth need and focus on trends that will impact future employment. The world around us changed dramatically in the past few years, and it may never go back to what it was!
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