College and Businesses Tackle Unemployment; CAREERS

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBERT GIBSON robert.gibson@ncjmedia.co.uk

NORTH East business leaders have teamed up with Gateshead College to help tackle the unemployment crisis through ensuring students are better prepared for the world of work.

A host of high-profile employers visited the college as part of a twoday event to showcase the hundreds of career paths open to young people.

Students were given the chance to quiz successful business professionals about the skills and attributes needed to secure meaningful employment.

Employers, meanwhile, got the opportunity to tap into the next generation of talent.

Among the keynote speakers were Nicola Short of the Entrepreneurs' Forum, solicitor Samantha Pritchard of law firm Bond Dickinson and Lesley Kerrison of Metro Radio.

The event is part of a wider "work ready" campaign launched by the college and employers to help tackle a crippling unemployment crisis which has seen the jobless rate in the region climb to 10.4%.

This is the highest in the country. Whilst the poor financial health of companies has been a root cause of the crisis, employers say the situation has been exacerbated by the lack of key skills and attributes among young people, which has made it harder for them to get a job.

Judith Doyle, principal of the college, said: "With unemployment remaining stubbornly high, it's vital that young people are better equipped with transferable skills and attributes that will help them find work.

"We want to make sure that our students stand out from the crowd and ensure they are in the best possible position to be top of any employer's list.

"We work closely with employers to find out exactly what they require so that when students leave this college, they can hit the ground running on day one of their employment. …