The Problem with “Entry Level”
We have spoken when it comes to youth employment. Read what we think about it.
23 Dec 2020
One of the most pressing issues facing young people in the employment market is the myth of the “entry level” job. These are jobs that, in theory, should not require any previous employment experience since they are after all, a person’s point of entry into a chosen field. Despite this, the number of jobs listed as “entry level” that genuinely require no previous experience is incredibly slim. Most job applications require a complete CV and Cover Letter, and often up to two years’ relevant industry experience. This leaves an enormous deficit of true entry level positions available to young people that are able to train and equip them with the experience they need to advance. The barriers to entry for young people are too high.
There is nothing wrong with jobs requiring industry experience. However, when most employers demand industry experience and so few actually prepared to train young people with that experience, young people who spend years in education, specialising in their chosen field, often putting down tens of thousands of pounds, are unable to access the career path they want. There is a sincere lack of genuine support and development for young people in the workplace. The transferability of quality from qualifications into recruitment is almost ignored. When it is considered, having a university degree is often viewed as a basic requirement rather than an elaborate and complex exemplar of knowledge and attainment.
Furthermore, the application process itself for “entry level” positions is woefully inadequate. Completing a CV and cover letter for each job can lead young people sinking hours into an application only to hear absolutely nothing back. This makes young people disheartened and despondent. This leaves a significant number of young people in an opportunities wasteland, where they are unable to break into the sector they want. This prompts young people to apply for an array of jobs across multiple sectors in the hopes that something returns an interview. This has the impact of several hundred applications per job, less attention being paid per application, and young people taking anything they can get, rather than a start in the career they want.
It’s time for employers to become youth-first. This means caring about the future of young people, and being genuinely committed to supporting and developing young people. “Entry level” employment should mean just that. Training and skills should be a central part of offering a role. Internships should be opportunities for young people to develop skills, and interns should be hired based on why they’re passionate about working for that company, in that sector, or progressing in their future. They shouldn’t be expected to have industry experience. Internship opportunities should be reserved for young people who are starting their journey, not used as a source of cheap labour for employers to hire people with existing experience. It’s time for employers to accept that young people on mass do not hold years of work experience. It’s time for employers to start offering guaranteed feedback.
We need to change the game. The Youth Group have developed a transformative new service for young people to access entry level roles, apprenticeships, work placements, training roles, and internships, to get started on the skilled careers that they dreamed of, worked for, and deserve. Simply called Get a Job, our service is a one stop shop for young people across the country looking for a job. We offer guaranteed feedback, the opportunity to rate your interview, and all our employers are verified by us. Need a job? Get a job.