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Job Academy: coming soon

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It’s tough for young people to find a job. We know that. So we’re doing something about it. In the Job Academy, we’ve invited five people aged 18-25 to a top secret location. The aim is simple: to make our five contestants more employable than they’ve ever been.

For the next seven weeks, you’ll be able to follow our candidates as they learn the skills they need to get the job they want, and keep it. There’ll be tears, there’ll be laughter, we’re hoping there’ll be jobs at the end of it.

With career expert Aimee Bateman guiding them through the process and a host of gurus on hand to offer wisdom and advice, our five contestants will have all the help they need to get them moving up the career ladder.

In our video above, Aimee Bateman explains the basics of the Job Academy. We have a new episode going live every Wednesday, so check back regularly.

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(All comments have to be approved before they appear)

  1. tim foster Friday, 27 Sep, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Please can someone tell me why it is allways the 18 to 25 group that get a chance at doing things like this.. As for the older people we are just put in a corner and left.. Trying to find a job at my age is so hard … All I want to do is get back into work and live. On JSA is no fun…

    • Mark Ettridge Friday, 27 Sep, 2013 at 2:21 pm


      At 52 and having been unemployed for nearly three years now i completely agree with and that agism does exist quite blatently so.

    • Tadge Wesolowski Friday, 27 Sep, 2013 at 2:26 pm

      Know how you feel Tim,i dont recall when i was of the age group 18-25 that anyone said about doing something for us,i’m 51,applying here,there,and everywhere,for jobs i dont really want to do,but i’m fed up of being treated like….well you know,and thats just by them at the Jobcentre.
      Meanwhile,the job i could do,they look to some young kid,my belief is that they the employer can treat them like whatever,i wouldnt personally let someone do that to me,and i think they know that.

    • Sue C Friday, 27 Sep, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      Fully agree with Tim, Mark & Tadge. At 51 trying to restart a career cut short through no fault of my own. Can’t even get a temp Christmas job.

      • Adele Monday, 30 Sep, 2013 at 12:04 pm

        Totally agree with Tim, Mark, Tadge, Sue et al. At 51 trying to pick up another role after redundancy for senior Marketing role. Nothing. Not even Christmas jobs. Sickening.

    • John Davison Friday, 27 Sep, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      Thinking that 44 years of full employment ( five different employers in that time ) would count for something, I was a little disappointed to be advised by the Jobcentre and National Careers Advice to remove all dates from my CV and that in doing so I would at least have a chance of being offered an interview………

    • nessie Sunday, 29 Sep, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      Totally agree with you guys! I am 53 and have applied for jobs I could do with my eyes shut and never even get an interview.
      Job centres are more than useless, have had them re-write my c.v., take out my age and dates of education and I am nothing like the person who they are describing.
      Office experience is now classed as excellent I.T. skills!
      I have no childcare issues, am willing to work shifts if necessary! I have now been told I have to look for work within two hours travelling and the jobs they are telling me to look for are minimum wage which will leave me hardly anything after paying out for all the bus/train fares and certainly not enough to live on.

    • Andrew Fox Monday, 30 Sep, 2013 at 7:59 am

      I feel relieved and frustrated at the same time, reading these posts. It is a minor relief to know it isn’t just me, but a huge frustration to know that age is a huge barrier. 🙁

  2. Zaki Abwaini Friday, 27 Sep, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    It will be a great tool. I hope it will me and others to find the job we are looking for.

    Good job. Keep on

  3. Narendra Singh Friday, 27 Sep, 2013 at 12:51 pm


  4. John Friday, 27 Sep, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Interesting ‘appetiser’ but I bet it won’t be covering the ‘old farts’, to quote a fairly common expression in the HR trade – “Off the record”, of course!
    I have changed my CV on umpteen occasion to the styles so-called gurus have recommended and despite a pile of experience, those interviews I have eventually managed to attend, have borne very little resemblance to what was advertised. Some of the questions that have been asked would make you cringe and the style of interviewing must have been downloaded from ‘The Apprentice’.
    It would be most interesting to receive your views on this subject.

  5. Charles Okigbo Friday, 27 Sep, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    I was made redundant in January 2003 by Homes for Haringey after 13 yrs in Housing Administration. I am a graduate who speaks fluent English & French. I am computer literate and have achieved ECDL Levels 1&2. I am currently volunteering helping out Catherine West who is Parliamentary Candidate for Hornsey & Wood Green..

    While looking for work I also keep busy and have enrolled to study creative writing, leadership and management and tai-chi at Camden College.

  6. Caroline young Friday, 27 Sep, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    What about me I’m 44 and struggling to find work help !!!!

  7. Tadge Wesolowski Friday, 27 Sep, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    When it comes to doing a CV,i go to the so called experts that the Jobcentre send you to,i tell them what ive done,i’ve even given them a laid out one(written).
    But no matter what,it rarely seems to get me an interview,but when the miracle happens,and i do get to interview,i dont think i’m what the interviewer is expecting,i really dont know what to do.

  8. Thomas Franklin Friday, 27 Sep, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Is there a process to apply to be one of the next batch of lucky people to be selected for this ? I fit the criteria

  9. Miss Dawn Richardson Friday, 27 Sep, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    What about doing something like this for the over 30’s and the over 40’s

  10. Ilona Friday, 27 Sep, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Hi,I am 30 and I also can’t find a good job.I quit my previous employment due to internal policies that promoted relationships above job standards and good morals.I worked there for 8 years and got promoted several times and on numerous occasions spoke with the top bosses about changes needed.Now 200 people are being made redundant next March and no manager wants to admit they failed the company.Truth is no-one cares about others any more and above all HR these days are unbelievably lazy,you’re very unlikely to get an interview unless you spot on the dot with description.If you do get one,suck up all you can or face rejection.Also if you’re out the job,chances are anywhere you get into you’ll start at the bottom.You can look for opportunities inside afterwards.I now work for a small company on half a money I used to earn and struggling to pay my bills,but it’s an experience and I am hopeful something better will come up.Being without a job is no fun at all.

  11. Victoria Brand Friday, 27 Sep, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    I agree with the over 25’s!I’m a 35 yr old single mum. My uni funding got pulled for forensic science or a law degree. I got a 2:1 Nursing Diploma (Mental Health), 3 A Levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma in Forensic Science (Equivalent to 3 A*’s at A Level)plus Welsh Bac. with Welsh and I still can’t get a job. Being offered self-start ups that I have to fund (can’t). Best ‘offer’ I got was last week – £2.65ph at a high street jewellers for a 45hr week and no Saturdays off for a year, then they sack you! Less than half NMW and they siphon off the difference!!Awesome – got that 20yrs ago before NMW was introduced. Kids better paid on paper rounds! I still looking….

  12. Victoria Brand Friday, 27 Sep, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    I sympathise. I’m currently doing Pitman Excel Level 1 and Pitman Book keeping Level 2, Module 1. I also trying to get into Health and Safety. I’ll probably have to fund the hard way. I commend you for volunteering. I thought of working for an MP or something but can’t afford to do voluntary. If you know what you want you can do it but will probably involve significant graft. Don’t give up though…. I like creative writing – maybe we could collaborate on something?

  13. Shades Friday, 27 Sep, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Hi Folks

    joined the ranks of the redundant only a few months ago, after 17 years being very successful in a sales job for an International Company handling strategic level customers. So now I’m about to be 53, and what I find is that “the getting employed” game has changed.

    First a CV is now not about your experience and track record, its about the “skills” you can bring to a new employer. 20 different experts will give you 20 different answers about what a CV should be like and contain.

    Second the recruitment process now contains “professionals”, who have set up a number of hidden hoops that you have to jump through without knowing they are there. Fore example your application letter and CV are screened by software which looks for key words from the job description, and it there isn’t an exact match, it’s filled under B1N before any human gets to look at it. Also if you haven’t been using one or more of your skills and experience in your most recent position, forget it, the “recruiters” think your brain is too aged to have retained it and disregard any experience from more than 3-5 years ago.

    Third recruitment companies are working as a very narrow band filter to ensure that they only put through 3-5 candidates who are an exact match for the job requirements, because they want to be seen to only provide the best people, and keep the client by acting as the gatekeeper in order to ensure they earn money.

    Fourth, you get through to the Company HR and start again, before finally being shortlisted for a telephone interview with the Hiring Manager. If successful at that stage, you might go on to a panel interview or an “assessment day” where shortlisted candidates are able to joust while being judged for the amusement of a number of potential peers and managers.

    Fifth, with the situation where the application has passed through so many stages then its hard to identify if any discrimination on illegal grounds has taken place (after all the whole process is discriminating on everything from your looks, personality, the accent you speak with, to your interview performance). So now we get to a potential offer, and find that with your experience not fitting 100% to the job spec, there is a hefty discount towards the bottom of the advertised salary range. Well it is an employers market, so if they’re not offering you a zero hours contract, they are going to want to line everybody up in the street each morning(Victorian Style)and give those who’ll work for the lowest price a job each morning.

    Sixth – Training Needs are an absolute killed, no employer wants to waste time training people or providing apprenticeships (not even SIR! Alan Sugar does that anymore), so the Recruitment Companies seem to eliminate anyone without an exact skills match, with the web site phrase “If you haven’t heard from us within x days you’ve been unsuccessful (in beating our software filter) ”

    All I can do is paste something from the internet
    “49 Benefits Of Hiring An Older Skilled Workers”
    and wish everyone success in their search.

    Good Luck and Good Hunting to you all.

  14. samir Saturday, 28 Sep, 2013 at 5:10 am

    That is not correct most international companies in Arab gulf looking for people with long experience(10 -20 years experience) for their key position, so the candidate must be above 40 years to get the job.
    I’m 44 years but i still looking for the right and suitable position

  15. zahida kazmi Saturday, 28 Sep, 2013 at 6:48 am

    I am a female.I am Master of Education having all the teaching training courses e.g (P.T.C, C.T, B.Ed). I have more than 28 years experience in Government sector school as a teacher. I taught general line subjects like Urdu, English, History, Social Studies, Islamic Studies, etc during the service and still in service.

    Now i want to reach abroad to get more knowledge and experience as well.

  16. Nicola Saturday, 28 Sep, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    I’m 37 and I have already the problem of someone being fussy on my age to give me a job, if you add that I’m foreign that make the picture, they prefer a English guy of 18 so that they can pay less and treat them worse then people that can stand it, for what I have achieved a master degree and move here to get a better opportunity if England is becoming exactly like Italy?

  17. Marie Sunday, 29 Sep, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    What about the 30 year olds! I went to work at 18 but after 8 years in a job that eventually became unbearable I went into full time education. I have a BA and am waiting to find out the results of my MA but now I have to get back into work and it’s unlikely to be easy with the current job market combined with the fact that I’m picky about the kind of job I want, and am really bad at interviews.

    Ex-mature students need help too!

  18. Charmaine Bourton MCLIP Sunday, 29 Sep, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Think of all us poor librarians who qualified in their youth only to find libraries cutting down on staff and closing libraries left right and centre. If anyone out there wants, or knows someone who wants a qualified librarian in their 50s, I’m available!

    • Tony Symms Monday, 30 Sep, 2013 at 10:51 am

      At 62 I have accepted various roles from Employment agencies for minimum wages and found work temping full time at 3 different companies doing jobs in Customer service,Stores,Dispatch and even helping relocate sites which involved moving furniture etc. When it comes to getting a permanent job I am by-passed even though I have shown I can do various roles and am entirely flexible with hours .Ageism is rampant and there is nothing I can do about it as it is almost impossible to prove .I hope you will join me on F.Book as I am setting up an Ageism in UK web page for people to record their experiences

    • MontyP Tuesday, 1 Oct, 2013 at 1:08 pm

      That must be hard for you right now. I’m 48, a part-qualified accountant and looking for work in London. I agree that the employment market is difficult; you need to be able to speak the lingo, ignore the BS, jump through HR hoops, smile and be confident at interview, and be happy to be paid at a big discount at a lower level than your last job because people assume that you’ve forgotten everything after two years (yes, I had that recently).
      Your skills could be of use to insurance and financial services companies in their compliance or Basel/Solvency II departments. I’d like to know how you get on. Good luck!

  19. Colin Wednesday, 2 Oct, 2013 at 9:58 am

    I could not agree more with the finding employment for 50 plus. I worked for a major European Ferry Company before they closed the route making most of us redundant. Finding a job in this field is impossible as most companies now employ Latvian, Russian, Polish etc, the British seaman is now a thing of the past. So as I enjoy driving I paid for myself to complete a CPC Course & apply for a Digi Card. So with a full clean driving licence plus the two mentioned cards(saving a potential employer money) & numerous years driving experience behind me & quick to pick up knowledge of transport routes I would be in for a good chance of employment. NO, the two things against me “What driving experience do you have” & I am sure my age of 55, yet you would think employers would be happy for the middle/older age group for reliability, experience, customer awareness would be a benefit but there again when the person dealing with applications is in their early twenties it is hard for them to see past themselves. So why not give us 50’s a helping hand.

  20. Victoria Brand Wednesday, 2 Oct, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    I think if you are over 24 and not a NEET you are going to have problems! My mum in her late 50’s and they’ve stopped her retiring 3 times cos her birthday was on the wrong date! Her younger ‘boss’ has replaced her in her exact job and is then trying to do constructive dismissal of my mum based on OPEN ageism! Then she sucks up to her boss and gets away with it. Charmaine – I know they were looking for a librarian at Rampton Hospital in Retford (Mansfield District Council)-any use? Maybe a school or college could use a good librarian? Tony I definitely agree that the ageism / prejudice in this country is shocking! You should try adding sexism to the mix cos you dare to go on Mat Leave (like ever!). Look up Adaptive Business Support (everyone) and if you are on Linked-In look up ‘Julian Jones’. He got professional links that no1 else got (like MD’s) etc! Give them a try and see how you go. Hope that helps.

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