‘Awful’ CVs and high expectations ‘holding back’ Redbridge’s unemployed youth

The expectations of out of work young people in Redbridge are “too high” when trying to find a job, and their CVs can be riddled with flaws according to a woman helping people to make a step on to the employment ladder.

Bernadette Benn, chief executive of Barnabas Workshops, has told the Recorder she believes some of the borough’s young people have a “poor” work ethic and are “not hungry” to find work.

She said: “They’ve gone from school to college and they come out aged 22 with no work experience at all.

“Employers want work experience but young people don’t always understand want employers want.”

Barnabas Workshops, in High Road, Ilford, is a recruitment service which aims to improve jobseekers’ employability.

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In the last year, around 300 people secured employment after getting advice, guidance, mentoring or training from Barnabas.

Mrs Benn said: “I think people need to look at their aspirations so it fits today’s employment market.

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“There are jobs out there, but they may not be what young people aspire to. They may be a part time job, for example, or lower level.

“Lots of people aren’t prepared to consider something like a temporary Christmas job, they’re looking at their long term career goals instead.

“But temporary work can be a pathway to more permanent employment.”

Last week, the Recorder revealed there are more than 15 applicants for every vacancy in Redbridge.

Office for National Statistics figures show youth unemployment rates in the borough are higher than overall unemployment, with 10 per cent of 16 to 24-year-olds out of work.

Redbridge comes 10th in England as one of the hardest boroughs to get employment.

Mrs Benn, who has recently advertised for a receptionist/administrator position at Barnabas, said: “The quality of some applications is absolutely awful.

“People don’t think about what they’re applying for, they just see a job advertised and fire off their CV.” She said she sympathised with young people looking for jobs in the current climate, but said they needed to “look at the opportunities available, go for them, make the most of them”.

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