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Or are they?

In my capacity as Chair of the Manchester Branch of the CIPD, I have been asked by the Career Academy UK to present on the topic of a CIPD report called 'Employers are from Mars, Young People are from Venus'.

The report identifies that there is a direct mismatch between the expectations of employers for young people during the recruitment stage and the young people's perception of what employers expect from them. Are they worlds apart? In essence, the processes are deterring the young people's entry into employment, and this is a prime factor in the skills shortage that currently faces UK businesses.

Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, commented: "When it comes to recruitment, it can feel as though young people and employers are on completely different planets. Too many young people are struggling to finish their first job, whereas many employers are finding it difficult to get the skills they need. This mismatch needs to be addressed, not only to reduce youth unemployment and the long-term impact it can have on young people, but also to ensure that UK businesses are equipped with the right talent for the future."

Of course, we must also look at the employer's perspective; many employers suggest that their roles require 'experience', even for relatively junior roles, which then creates a mundane sequence for those young people who do not have access to employment opportunities.

The presentation will take place in Manchester at the Cooperative Building, Ballon Street, Manchester. Starting at 5.30pm and concluding with a Q&A session at 6.30, the event should prove to encourage a lively debate. The employers in attendance will include Barclays, Jaguar Land Rover, Deloitte, Aircelle, M&S Bank, and SMEs.

I very much look forward to working with Career Academy UK and supporting them on their journey to unite employers and young people to ensure that they are ready for the 'world of work'.

The full report can be accessed at www.cipd.co.uk/publicpolicy, and the agenda for the presentation is available to download at www.olivestrachan.com/content/pdfs/cauk-flyer.pdf.

Further information on the Career Academy UK can be found here: www.careeracademies.org.uk

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The above quote, to me, epitomises what coaching is all about: releasing the potential in someone.

At Olive Strachan Resources, I have coached and mentored people for many years, and I am a great believer in personal development and training. As part of my quest for continuous development, I recently embarked on the ILM Level 7 Diploma in Executive Coaching and Mentoring. This is an intensive and experiential programme which required extensive practice and reading outside the formal tutorial workshops. In addition, all the participants shared experiences and had opportunities for networking and peer support.

Historically, most of my coaching has taken place inside offices, which sometimes - if you are in a confined space, having a one-to-one with an individual - can be a very intense experience. The ILM concentrated on a contemporary programme that specialised in coaching but also utilised the environment to further enhance the coaching experience. This involved working with a coachee whilst walking around Lake Buttermere in Keswick. It was truly an amazing experience - the beauty and stillness of the surrounding environment and the sense of being at one with the elements allowed each person to reflect deeply, making use of the mind, body, and spirit.

Buttermere, in the Lake District

Photograph by Shaun Ferguson

As the winter months progress, I am looking forward to when the weather is less inclement, offering my coachees at Olive Strachan Resources the opportunity to leave the constraints of the office to embrace and experience the beauty of nature whilst discovering their full potential and finding exactly 'what lies within us'.

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