Recruitment crisis as “isolated” school leavers enter the labor market without basic skills


Leanne Giblin needs new staff at her Lichfield pubs

The new recruitment crisis is emerging after employers noticed that school-leavers have poor social skills and are riddled with anxiety.

School closures, exam cancellations, extended periods of isolation and the lack of part-time jobs have deprived a generation of formative and learning experiences for children.

Leanne Giblin, who runs The Angel and The Duke of York pubs in Lichfield, relies on young staff, however, the latest harvest has left her worried about the future.

She said: ‘We have had a few staff members who have turned 18 recently and been denied their education due to Covid and they are really lacking in social skills.

“They are all lovely and normally fine when dealing with staff and clients their age, but problems start when dealing with older people.

“They’re falling apart, which is a problem in the pub business or the retail business where you have to talk to anyone and everyone. Their social skills are so underdeveloped but that’s understandable. because they never finished their studies and spent a lot of time on theirs. “

Miss Giblin is a member of the Lichfield Business Improvement District and the Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce.

She said: “It’s not just me complaining, this is a big problem that needs to be addressed in all types of businesses. Like I say, they are adorable kids, but no other generation does. ‘lost formative experiences as important as they did.

“They were isolated for almost two years, lacking the experiences that would allow them to find out who they are. But as an employer, we struggle to find quality staff.

“We always used to ask students coming home from college to pick up drinks or work at the bar, but this Christmas we were told that parents were paying them not to work because they were afraid. to come to work. “

Leanne Giblin

The 37-year-old said: “They don’t seem to have the same motivation we had when we were young. We all say something has to be done.”

Juniper Training, based in Wednesbury, specializes in obtaining apprenticeships and jobs for 16-18 year olds and now runs small classes to improve the skills of young people.

Juniper’s hiring manager Simon Hackett believes young people have faced a unique set of challenges as a result of Covid and need help to thrive in the workforce.

He said: “With the pandemic, it has been a very difficult time for young people to get the work experience they need to start their careers.

“We will always do our best to provide the young person with the high quality work experience they need to advance them to a job or an apprenticeship upon completion of our course. “

The impact of missing school months, exams and the end of eleven years of schooling has not yet been properly investigated.

The London School of Economics and the University of Exeter have tried to understand how the pandemic has affected students. They found that in England, students missed an average of 61 days of schooling in the last school year, which has 190 days of schooling.

Professor Stephen Machin said: “Even a few extra days of lost learning can have a big impact on academic success and life outcomes, and that’s big losses of around 60 to 65 days.”