OxLEP’s Rebecca joins forces with other young employees in #JargonFreeJobs campaign

Rebecca Harrhy, Executive Assistant to OxLEP Chief Executive Nigel Tipple, has joined forces with other young people from across the country in a campaign to help employers break down barriers in their recruitment processes to create attractive and accessible jobs and Apprenticeships for all young people.

During 2016, the Future Proof campaign, run by Business in the Community, saw 79 young people aged 16-24, including current and former Apprentices, young people looking for work and school / college students taking part in 7 fun, interactive mystery shopper workshops. These involved assessing the websites of a total of 65 employers, to see where they are missing out on great potential talent by using outdated recruitment methods which would be easy to change.

Former Apprentice Rebecca took part in one of these workshops in Oxford in December 2016, where she reviewed the content of a number of employers’ careers and recruitment web pages and one live entry level job vacancy chosen by the employer, paying particular attention to the job description and first stage of the application process. Participants also made practical recommendations on how the employers can make their opportunities and processes simpler and easier to access for young people. These were shared with the employers in the form of a bespoke feedback report.

Rebecca said: “This workshop provided young people with a great opportunity to feed back helpful suggestions on how all employers can improve their websites and advertisement of current vacancies in order to make them more attractive and accessible for young people looking to apply for a job or Apprenticeship.”

Many of the companies taking part in the programme are already implementing participants’ suggestions and in the process are breaking down the barriers that exist in their recruitment processes. As result, they are Future Proofing their recruitment processes and will be able to widen access to their talent pool to young people with potential from all backgrounds. One of the company websites reviewed was that of electrical contractor Clarkson Evans, who recruit lots of Electrical Apprentices in Oxfordshire. Find out what they are doing to change the recruitment information on their website as a result of the mystery shopper workshops.

In order to share the learning with all employers, BITC have produced an employer guide, bringing together a practical list of the participants’ top recommendations for employers who want to make their opportunities more attractive and accessible to young people and highlighting some of the current best practice in recruitment.

The changes are easy to make and could mean more effective recruitment and access to a more diverse workforce that better reflects an employer’s future customer base.

Read the Future Proof best practice guide for employers, which was released on 20th March.

One of the key findings form the workshops was that the use of jargon can put young people off a job or make them feel that they’re not good enough to apply. Future Proof are today launching #JargonFreeJobs - a wide-reaching interactive social media campaign that calls on businesses to remove all jargon from their entry level job descriptions and adverts, as part of breaking down barriers for young people.

Visit the Future Proof website at: http://futureproof.bitc.org.uk/jargonfreejobs to find out more about the campaign and how you can support it, including sharing the worst jargon filled phrase you've ever come across on social media!