Workplace Options, a global provider of work-life and employee support services, today announced a partnership with Corporate Voices for Working Families, the leading national business membership organization representing the private sector on policy issues involving working families, to conduct research and polling on issues related to the workplace. In conjunction with Public Policy Polling, Workplace Options recently conducted a survey producing troubling results—56 percent of respondents feel that more than a quarter of the nation’s youth does not have the skills they need to be prepared to work, and 21 percent feel that more than half of the nation’s youth does not possess the skill sets to be workforce-ready.

Based on the polling results, Corporate Voices published a blog, entitled “The Public and Employers Agree: Our System is Failing Youth Work Readiness”. The blog provides an in-depth analysis of the survey, which found that the American public agrees with many employers—young people are unprepared to succeed in the 21st century workplace. The results highlight the need for more cooperation among businesses, educational institutions, community leaders and policy makers to ensure success for the incoming workforce and strengthen the future economy.

Whose Role is it to Help Youth Prepare?

More than 70 percent of the general public believes K-12 or higher education plays a key role in preparing youth for work and only three percent believe that employers have the most responsibility to prepare young people for work. The majority of the general public (68 percent) feels that young people with a high school diploma are not prepared to work; whereas 35 percent of the general public expresses the same concern for young people with college degrees.

According to the general public, young people are lacking the following skills:

  • Professionalism (37 percent)
  • Critical thinking and problem solving skills (19 percent)
  • Basic skills (writing, reading, and math) (16 percent)
  • Communication skills (written and oral) (15 percent)
  • Creativity (5 percent)

“Our nation’s businesses and communities must step up to the plate to help prepare our youth for entering the workplace with the right skills and competencies for tomorrow’s success,” said Dean Debnam, chief executive officer of Workplace Options. “Effective partnerships with businesses, state and local leaders, education systems and communities will help produce a competitive workforce and enable these young people to realize their full potential.”

Lynn Fetterolf, Senior Advisor to the CEO – Workplace Options, Inc., is a member of the Corporate Voices Board of Trustees, which provides oversight and advice in guiding public policy initiatives that affect the workforce. Collectively, they bring together hundreds of years of management-level experience and expertise with public and private sector organizations.

For more information about Corporate Voices for Working Families, visit www.corporatevoices.org. To view full survey results from the poll of workforce readiness, visit http://www.workplaceoptions.com/pdf/polls/corporatevoices.pdf.

Workplace Options helps employees balance their work, family and personal life in order to make their lives healthier, easier and more productive. The company’s world-class Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) and work-life services provide information, resources, referrals and counselling on a variety of issues ranging from dependent care, legal and financial issues to mental health, stress management and addiction.

Drawing from an international network of accredited providers and professionals, Workplace Options is the world’s largest integrated EAP and work-life services provider. Service centres in London, Raleigh. N.C., Toronto and Dublin support more than 23 million employees in 16,000 organisations, across 153 countries. To learn more, visit www.workplaceoptions.com.

Publications, research studies, and toolkits on a host of workforce readiness, workplace flexibility, family economic stability, and work and family balance issues are available online at www.corporatevoices.org.