In order to give a real life context to employability skills, I used tweets from various people when writing Employability What? but I never thought I’d get the opportunity to meet anyone I’d quoted. When the speaker line-up at the Yorkshire International Business Convention had to change and a new speaker was announced, I knew that I had an amazing opportunity.
Steph McGovern, BBC’s business reporter gave the audience a summary of the UK’s economic position, sharing what businesses around the country are telling her but for me, the real gem of her address was when she moved on to the subject of young people and skills. The audience could be in no doubt at the end of her speech that they needed to play their part in up-skilling young people and opening their doors to allow them to experience the wealth of different industries and roles on offer.
Using a bit of tenacity, I was able to secure a couple of minutes with Steph so after waiting patiently behind the various reporters waiting to interview her, I showed her Employability What? and explained why I’d decided to write something that would hopefully help young people prepare themselves for the world of work.
With only enough time for one question before Steph was whisked away, I asked what she thought young people could do to get involved with business ad develop their own skills. Here’s what she said;
“Don’t just look to your teachers for career advice – go out and see and try things for yourself. Have a look at what jobs are out there and see if there is something you don’t know what its about and try and find out more about it. The biggest thing for me is that there are so many careers out there that you and I don’t know what they all are. Every time I go to another business I’ll find a load more jobs I’ve never even heard of.”
“Young people need to be willing to go out and find out more about the world of work. I often say just do as many work experiences as you can. If you rock up somewhere and you hate it, it doesn’t matter, you’ve learnt that you don’t like that industry. Or you might think there’s a job you’d really love to do, actually go and get as near as you can to it.”
“Don’t be afraid to find out more about the world of work because it is exciting and you’ve got to love your job.”