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Four key steps in your journey to employment

Key Steps To Employment

Young people are approaching a critical time in their lives with a dip in youth employment. They are encountering a very challenging job market, so the pressure is on for them to make decisions on their next steps following education.

Covid-19 has resulted in limited internships and work placements which traditionally provided the work experiences and skills that help to secure full-time employment.

Here are a few tips to help you confidently manoeuvre into the next stage of life, whichever route you decide to follow.

1. Understand the options available

University is no longer the only way forward. With opportunities such as apprenticeships, courses, internships, and entry level jobs, there are other pathways that can also lead to great careers. You may feel overwhelmed and unsure which option is right for you and that is completely normal. Research has shown that only 32% of young people feel confident about their career path and out of those, one third were at a loss as to how to achieve their goals [1].

Researching different opportunities available will help you start to think about which pathway you’d like to pursue, how to get started and what that path may look like. Organisations such as Youth Employment UK, Fledgelink, Debut Careers and GTI have free content on their platforms that can help you in navigating your careers.

Don’t forget the Barclays LifeSkills and BT’s work ready programmes which have learning resources, tools and tips to give young people the skills, knowledge and confidence they need for the world of work.

2. Build a strong skillset

Whether you decide to move on to further education, apprenticeships, or employment, it’s important for you to build up a strong skillset to be a standout candidate. With increased pressure to be noticeable in such a tough job market, the skills employers are looking for are changing. Having a strong skillset can help you become a much more well-rounded candidate and leave a more lasting impression with potential employers.

Research has shown that 55% of UK businesses felt that the skills gap in their business would leave them unable to deal with future challenges, meaning there is a need for fresh talent [2]. Building a set of digital skills is a great way for young people to bridge this gap and get work ready.  Programs such as FastFutures, provide great opportunities for young people to increase employability and kick start their careers.

FastFutures is a free online digital business skills course that supports young people into work. This fully funded 12-week program is designed to give learners the skills employers value and mentoring they need to kick-start their careers. In just 10 hours per week, learners gain the practical skills that employers need, build a network, and increase their confidence with support from tutors. They will dive into essential digital skills in:

  • Data
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Innovation
  • Teamwork

The program is open to anyone aged 18 to 24 regardless of their background or educational attainment. With a mix of live classes, webinars, and group projects, FastFutures is specifically designed to develop the skills most valued by employers today and for years to come.

3. Learn from employers

What better way to understand what employers need than hearing and learning from employers themselves! FastFutures has partnered with some of the UK’s top businesses including AstraZeneca, Barclays, Legal & General & Health Education England, to give learners experience of the workplace through mentoring, team projects and mock interviews. The unique skills and experience the programme develops in learners helps bridge the gap between education and employment, empowering young people with the hard and soft skills employers need.

This engaging learning experience builds skills in the context of working life, whilst giving you access to leading employers through virtual site visits, live Q&A sessions with senior leaders, and an employer-led mentoring programme. Learners also get support with building CVs finishing with an employer mock interview, with feedback, to prepare for a smooth start to working life.

4. Network

Networking is a very useful skill that can help open doors for new opportunities. Creating a LinkedIn profile is a great start as you can start building your network with the people around you now.

It can be very daunting to put yourself out there and start conversations with people you may not know. However, building up the courage to make the first move and start a conversation could lead you to the opportunity you have been waiting for.

FastFutures has a big community of learners, alumni and industry specialists where participants can access further resources. Following completion of the program, learners can join the FastFutures alumni community, where they can continue to receive support in their employment journey. Not only are they able to interact with peers in similar positions, but they also get access to:

  • A monthly newsletter with news and updates
  • Access to exclusive jobs board with vacancies from employer partners looking to hire FastFutures graduates
  • Access to valuable content including Q&A sessions and FastTalk webinars

Throughout the FastFutures journey, learners have opportunities to build their network through mentoring and connecting with speakers in live classes.

Remember that there are different pathways to get started on your career! Follow these 4 tips to help you identify the pathway you would like to take and start making the steps towards your career goals!

To find out more about FastFutures, please visit www.fastfutures.co.uk.

Discover the true impact FastFutures has on young people, download the FastFutures Impact Report.


 [1] FastFutures research to understand concerns and motivations of 1011 young people aged 18-24 across the UK 2021.

[2] Avado study into organisations in different regions, industries, and sectors in partnership with Opinion Matters. Survey of over 1,000 respondents across progressive UK businesses with 5,000+ employees 2021.

Lynette Bhebhe

Posted August 3, 2021