Boot camps ‘must help candidates sell themselves’

Aspire To Aspire


Candidate marketing and employer facing skills are among the areas government needs to focus on in developing new back to work boot camps for 18 to 21 year olds, welfare to work providers say.

Yesterday government announced in April 2017 it will launch the camps for people aged between 18 and 21 who have just signed on for unemployment benefits.

Those attending the three-week intensive boot camps will benefit from a CV workshop as well as an individual programme co-ordinator who will help them with ‘softer skills’ such as interview practice, group work and communication skills. Each attendee will receive 71 hours of help over the three weeks.

Commenting on the new camps, Andy Hogarth, chief executive of staffing services, outsourcing, training and employability organisation Staffline Group, the owner of welfare to work provider PeoplePlus, told Recruiter his company would be interested in running the programmes, adding the training provided needs to focus on marketing skills for candidates so they can stand out from the crowd.

“At interview you’re trying to sell yourself to fill a need of the employer,” he said.

“So the idea that you’re a sales person at interview is probably the one that needs to be got across because actually you’re selling yourself over and above someone else to fill a role that the employer has.”

Nicola Squibb, regional director at Prospects, contractors for the Work Programme in the South West believes employer-facing skills are essential and would be the area on which Prospects would want to focus on to deliver the training.

In a statement released to Recruiter she said: “In a recent survey of 100 employers in the South West we found the main skills required are turning up on time, consistently and for the required amount of time; dressing appropriately for the work environment; not taking constant breaks or checking mobile phones and being enthusiastic and willing to learn.

“We will work with young people to help them see the importance of these skills and develop them for the future.”

Meanwhile a survey, conducted by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), published last week found most businesses in its industry reported that the employability of prospective trainees sent to them by schools was poor, with many saying they would rather employ migrant workers than take on an apprentice.

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