DCSIMG

Are youth up to the job?

MCHG 12-779  The panel  at Dacorum Civic Centre. They are, from left, Daniel Zammit, Andrew Williams, Peter Box, Dorothy Thornhill and Andy Cook.

MCHG 12-779 The panel at Dacorum Civic Centre. They are, from left, Daniel Zammit, Andrew Williams, Peter Box, Dorothy Thornhill and Andy Cook.

A HEATED debate saw business opinions split on whether Dacorum’s young people have the skills for today’s jobs market.

On one side was the opinion that today’s young workers don’t know how to be confident and hold down a job.

But a counter view, put at a Townhall Summit at the Civic Centre in Hemel Hemel Hempstead on Tuesday (September 18), was that businesses need to get out to schools, where they would quickly get a different opinion about the skills and abilities of Dacorum’s youth.

Business leader Andy Cook, chairman of the Maylands Partnership, said: “My company needs scientists and engineers.

“In this country, the average age of a scientist or engineer is 53 – we have lost the plot as a country as far as sciences go.

“There is certainly a gap in the market for someone to teach life skills.”

The meeting, organised by the Local Government Association, also heard claims that some of today’s young people don’t know how to make eye contact or present themselves for a day’s work.

But Frances Stickley, of Kodak, in Hemelone, Boundary Way, who also chairs the governors at Kings Langley School, urged businesses to take a second look and not jump to conclusions about young people.

She said; “Young people are not necessarily what they seem. I am very, very passionate that you should not take young people at face value.”

She said Kings Langley School teaches life skills and urged: “But business needs to engage... take another look at young people.”

The meeting also heard Dacorum borough is “open for business” and is encouraging a partnership approach that has lead to the creation of up to 2,000 jobs in the last 18 months. The borough council has made economic development its number one priority.

> Do today’s young people lack basic skills or are they misunderstood? Let us know.

 

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