The Adecco Group, the world’s leading provider of workforce solutions, yesterday held its first ‘Experience Work Day’. Nearly 8,000 young people around the world gained invaluable insights from The Adecco Group experts in 700 branches and offices in 46 countries.

Global youth unemployment again hit 71 million in 2016. Against the background of a world labour market in rapid and continuous flux, career prospects remain one of the most pressing concerns for young people, families and society. Yet at the same time, more than 40% of employers complain they cannot find people with the right skill profiles for their needs.

For many young people, identifying the professional path that best fits their talents and personalities is the first and crucial challenge. Experience is paramount. More than 60% of young people surveyed in 13 countries in 2016 viewed the lack of work experience as the single biggest barrier to getting their dream jobs.

The Adecco Group has responded through its global Adecco Way to Work™ programme. As part of the scheme, on April 26 the Group launched its first global ‘Experience Work Day’, opening 700 offices and branches to nearly 8,000 young people. Participants had the chance to shadow The Adecco Group employees in the departments and roles of their choice, learn more about their preferred jobs by almost literally stepping into their mentors’ shoes, and improve their skills through workshops and coaching.

The initiative included almost 500 workshops, providing guidance on careers, job hunting, applications and interviews, as well as sessions on CV clinics, social media identity assessment, coaching to master professional interviews and seminars to assess and guide the development of the key skills required in today’s labour market.

Alain Dehaze, The Adecco Group Chief Executive Officer, met over 160 young job seekers in The Adecco Group’s offices in the UK. ‘I recommend young people to seek work experience as early as possible, to get the best out of it and build on it. At the same time, it is our responsibility - employers, policy makers, educationalists and the like – to create a favourable environment and make opportunities available. If even half the young people participating yesterday learned more about what their ideal careers might entail, they could focus on priorities, make better choices, join the labour market sooner and, eventually, propel themselves to bigger and better things’.

The global ‘Experience Work Day’ follows the success of The Adecco Group Street Day, an initiative which supported more than 3 million people around the world in gaining a better start in the world of work, between 2013 and 2016.

‘Experience Work Day’ is part of The Adecco Group’s Way to WorkTM, introduced in 2013 to tackle youth unemployment and skills shortages, develop young people’s employability and help them enter the world of work. Through Way to Work, The Adecco Group provides young people with internships and apprenticeships (over 10,700 since 2015), career guidance, training and an opportunity to become ‘CEO for One Month’.