January 15, 2016

Making Youth Employment Work: Essential Elements for a Successful Strategy

While many companies are interested in unlocking the promise to be found in young people, most don't know how to create a successful youth employment strategy. This white paper identifies common barriers that block many employers from developing a business-focused youth talent pipeline and offers practical strategies successful companies are using to overcome such barriers.

By: Willa Seldon, Susan Wolf Ditkoff , Diann Daniel

Youth employment is a hot topic not only in the nonprofit world; savvy business leaders also know that training young workers holds the key to U.S. competitiveness and their own business success.

Young workers help businesses boost revenue, drive innovation, add workforce diversity, fill critical skills gaps, and create a robust talent pipeline. Yet while many companies are interested in unlocking the promise young people hold, most don’t know how to create a successful youth employment strategy. In fact, while 40 percent of U.S. employers struggle to fill more than five million open jobs, six million young adults are neither working nor in school.

We believe this situation can be corrected. In collaboration with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, The Bridgespan Group has co-authored the white paper "Making Youth Employment Work: Essential Elements for a Successful Strategy." Through in-depth interviews and research, we’ve identified common barriers that block many employers from developing a business-focused youth talent pipeline, and we offer practical strategies that successful companies are using to overcome such barriers.


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