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Young job seekers struggle with unclear job adverts

Young job seekers in West Yorkshire are being put off from applying for entry level or first jobs by impenetrable ‘business-speak’ in job adverts. 

The findings were unearthed following a recruitment workshop held at our Bradford offices which invited young job seekers to ‘mystery shop' local firm’s online job vacancies. 

The workshops, organised by Business in the Community and the City & Guilds Group, have found that young job seekers are being put off from applying for entry level or first jobs by impenetrable ‘business-speak’, which leaves them unsure about the suitability of roles and what their day-to-day responsibilities would actually be. 

A young job seeker from Leeds who attended the workshop commented: “The way the job description is explained is very technical and requires you to have at least some understanding of the job in order for it to make sense. It’s too complicated a description for an entry level applicant.”
We are encouraging more local businesses to think about how they can make entry level roles in their business more accessible for young people. 

The activity forms part of a national ‘Future Proof’ campaign led by Business in the Community, which aims to break down barriers in recruitment for young people. 

Confusing job descriptions are a ‘major barrier’ for young job seekers and are preventing them from entering the workforce, according to the campaign. 

So far three workshops have taken place across West Yorkshire in Leeds, Bradford and at Lawnswood School in Weetwood. 

Grace Mehanna, Youth Employment Campaign Director, Business in the Community, said: “We’re concerned that the unclear job adverts and inaccessible hiring practices are making it harder for young people to access employment. Our workshops provide the much needed constructive feedback that employers need to change this. From rewriting inaccessible job descriptions to outlining the application process for prospective candidates, there are some small practical changes businesses can make to improve their recruitment process for young people.” 

Jodie Williams, Talent Advisor at Yorkshire Water, said: "We are proud to support Business in the Community by hosting their Future Proof campaign workshop. As a business we aim to be inclusive of all. By supporting a campaign which aims to break down barriers to create attractive and accessible jobs for all young people we are able to work towards creating an inclusive environment."

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