Millennials: Training For An Ultramarathon

Millennials entered the labour market during a global recession, with record youth unemployment, faster-changing business cycles, and increasing demand for new skills – which they’re often told they lack.

Entering the jobs market wasn’t easy for the Millennial generation, and it’s unlikely to get easier anytime soon. In fact, they’re working longer and harder than any generation before them. As our recent ‘Millennial Careers: 2020 Vision‘ report showed, over a quarter are working two or more jobs, 73% are working more than 40 hours a week, and more than half expect to be working well past the age of 65.

The Millennial Mismatch

To remain employable over such long careers, Millennials need to think carefully about the skills and experiences they will need going forward, and build a plan to attain them.

Yet, when we interviewed 250 senior HR professionals from across the UK in our new whitepaper ‘The Millennial Mismatch: Why It Matters‘ the message was clear – there’s a mismatch between the skills businesses need and the skills Millennials possess.

Time and time again, the HR professionals we interviewed said Millennials lack the ‘life skills’ and communication skills required to confidently liaise at all levels of business. They also noted that the expectations of Millennials entering the workforce are not always realistic.

Something needs to change, to bridge this divide and ensure Millennials are prepared for the needs of businesses throughout their long careers.

Action is needed

It’s often suggested that changes in the education system would help. Two-thirds of HR leaders told us that they think traditional learning models are falling behind in teaching the skills required in today’s world of work. To quote one Head of Learning & Development:

“The current approach is piecemeal, short term and disjointed… not meeting the needs to sustain this and future generations transitioning from education into work”

But we can’t rely on the education system alone to fix the problem. It’s everyone’s responsibility help prepare the next generation. And ManpowerGroup is no exception, which is why we’re proud to be involved in a number of initiatives that help to enhance the skills of Millennials – including Movement to Work, PPMA Rising Stars, and our Tomorrow’s Talent series.

By 2020, more than one-third of the global workforce will be a Millennial. They have long careers ahead of them, and need to be prepared with the skills businesses need. Organisations who embrace the opportunity to truly understand, develop and engage with Millennials are the ones who will not only remain competitive and innovative, but who will truly benefit from the passion, creativity and unique capabilities that Millennials hold.

To read the full research download our latest report.