What Employers Really Want


Creating a short video documentary that builds a narrative using the words of employers, young jobseekers and the charity’s volunteers to present their experience of work – and unemployment – from a 360 degree perspective

  • In a competitive job market young people’s poor educational achievements and inexperience is exacerbated by employers’ concerns about their commitment to work.

I just can’t trust younger workers to do what we take for granted – like getting to work on time or finishing a job ….we waste time and energy supervising them” (Kent employer 2013)

  • Yet employers are still willing to offer young people the chance to work – even though they expect to be disappointed in their newest and youngest recruits
  • At the same time, young jobseekers are unprepared for the attitudes they will meet when they first start work – their expectations have been formed in a school environment where daily priorities are different and teachers lack the commercial experience to help prepare students for the world of work

Project objective:

  • explore in the words of employers, young jobseekers, teachers and the charity’s volunteer coaches where everyone’s expectations collide – and where they succeed in getting it right


Area di intervento

United Kingdom


Key data rural district (Edenbridge)

Key data urban district (Sevenoaks)

Index: rural deprivation

Pop density/hectare




Unemployment 16-64




Education (GCSE 5 x A*)




Index multiple deprivation





Descrizione dell'organizzazione

Friday People

UK charity – registered number 1144817


Dati di contatto
00 44 7740 854083


Data dello Stato



Stato di implementazione



Descrizione di stato

01.04.16 – in preparation
start date 01.06.16 – following recruitment of the interview team (young jobseekers), peer mentors from the University of the Creative Arts and interested local employers


Tipo di intervento

Action-Research, Pilot Project, Training Course


Altro tipo di intervento


Descrizione dell'intervento

Focused on:

  • developing transferable skills amongst young jobseekers and a measurable improvement in wellbeing across the age range of all participants
  • creating a stimulating research summary of prevailing attitudes to youth employment and the conflicts inherent in creating opportunities for young jobseekers



Target group (i)


  • Young jobseekers aged 18-24
Selection criteria


  • Three to six months unemployed
  • Failed to achieve satisfactory educational qualifications (ie 5 x GCSE grades A*-C)
  • Self-selecting through social media/peer group support
Target group (ii)


  • Local businesses with experience of employing young jobseekers
Selection criteria


  • Established record of employing young people within the last 18 months



We follow a strategy of Positive Youth Development (PYD).

  • This is the intentional efforts of youth, adult, community, government agencies and schools to provide opportunities for young people to enhance their interests, skills, and abilities.

  • PYD differs from other approaches to youth in that it rejects an emphasis on trying to correct what is “wrong” with children’s behavior or development. Programs and practitioners seek to empathize with, educate, and engage children in productive activities.

  • Our PYD projects simultaneously capture the interest of young jobseekers and employers

    • give each jobseeker essential skills in team working, project management, budget control, marketing and fundraising (including developing advertising revenues for popular new festivals)

    • develop an effective route into employment

    • create CV’s explicitly tailored to highlight each jobseeker’s newly acquired expertise

    • provide in depth (video based training in interview techniques and effective personal presentation – lead by a consortium of local HR specialists


Componenti innovative

  • Challenge employers’ perceptions of the youth work force by creating important research that will be spearheaded by young jobseekers

  • Challenge young participants’ perception of themselves and their capabilities

    • Involve them in project development

    • positive visualization of the impact of their work

    • access on-demand to online peer mentors

  • personal mobile telephones to be used to record individual assessments of wellbeing

  • focus on team building/motivational action for mentors as well as young beneficiaries





Volunteers acting as coaches and mentors

Business leaders offering access and working time



Gift in kind donations of video equipment, editing time, venues, operating costs supported by direct purchase of consumables



£15818 (euros 20089 – at 1.27 current euro exchange rate) – subject to funding of the first pilot which will operate over 26 weeks



All expenditure is funded by voluntary donations and discretionary grants from charitable institutions and businesses whose objectives reflect those of Friday People and the research being undertaken



  • Operational:

    • Target Your Potential (local social enterprise)

  • Coaching/mentoring partner:

    • University of the Creative Arts (media/peer mentors)



  • High quality video record of the challenges facing both young jobseekers and the businesses that want to employ them

  • Measurable improvement in wellbeing across all participants

    • Self-recorded qualitative assessment using mobile telephones and self-completion diaries (optional)

    • Quantitative measure of change to be developed in partnership with New Philanthropy Capital (UK charity). This approach replaces our current 8-part questionnaire (using a likert scale) assessed at start, mid and end points


Valutazione & SWOT analysis

TBA as a post-project analysis

Current challenges

  • Funding constraints may limit both the number of young jobseekers who can be trained as interviewers and the scale of the research



Young jobseekers

  • Access to increased skills and full-time employment rebuild economic prospects and reduce dependency


  • Improved understanding of the clash of expectations and the research evidence necessary to underpin applications for further development funding





Young job seekers

  • Measureable development of the self-confidence and skills necessary to secure employment / education

Business leaders

  • Measurable (including anecdotal) evidence of divergent expectations and how to begin realigning views
Exploitation effective results


  • Develop cost benefit analysis based on concrete results to validate applications for additional funding on a larger scale
  • Successful participants (young jobseekers) serve as role models and potential peer mentors to successive waves of trainees


Diffusione dei risultati e feedback pubblico

Planned dissemination during project

  • Presentation to national media of this groundbreaking research lead by young people
  • Social media broadcasts driven by young participants
  • Video posting via websites charity/partners/employers