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Connecting women and opportunity

Womanthology is a digital magazine and professional community powered by female energy and ingenuity.

Connecting women and opportunity

Womanthology is a digital magazine and professional community powered by female energy and ingenuity.

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Katerina Rüdiger, Head of Skills and Policy Campaigns at the CIPD on closing the gap between education and the world of work for young people

School pupils

Katerina Rüdiger is the Head of Skills and Policy Campaigns at the CIPD, leading the Policy Campaigns team, which works to turn policy into action, to positively influence employer behaviour. She has developed and leads on the CIPD’s Learning to Work programme that aims to tackle youth unemployment by increasing employer engagement with young people. She is also responsible for the CIPD’s employer volunteering programmes and the CIPD’s approach to skills policy issues. 

Katerina Rüdiger
Katerina Rüdiger

On 10th December 2014, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan announced the creation of a new careers and enterprise company for schools, to transform the provision of careers education and advice for young people, designed to support the government’s long-term economic plan by helping young people consider all the options available to them when they leave school.

The need for a new careers and enterprise company for schools

Far too often we hear that young people aren’t prepared with the right skills or awareness of the complexities of working life. Strong careers advice can help to close the gap between education and the world of work, but our latest research has found that just a third (35%) of parents are satisfied with the quality of careers advice and guidance provided in their child’s school or college.

Embedding input from employers

Supporting young people to navigate the increasingly complex world of work, and to find jobs and fulfilling careers is a critical part of securing the long-term competitiveness of the UK economy. The government’s decision to invest more in careers advice, and to embed significant input from employers in the process, is a welcome step in the right direction and good news for young people and for businesses.

It will help to ensure young people are getting the best possible start in the world of work and businesses are building a strong pipeline of talent for the future.

Building on existing provision

The new body does not start with a blank canvas. There are many initiatives that are already delivering good results, and should be supported and enhanced by the new body. From experience, we know how valuable routes into work such a mentoring, apprenticeships and work experience can be both for young people and for the employers that provide them and would urge for greater investment in encouraging links between schools, colleges and employers.

Our schemes highlight the value of HR professionals and employers taking an active role in helping young people into work. We believe that businesses need young people as much as young people need jobs. Through our Learning to Work programme we’re working hard to champion better work and working lives, which starts with young jobseekers having the support and opportunities they need to access the labour market.


The CIPD is firmly committed to increasing employer engagement with young people. Through its Learning to Work campaign, the CIPD provides employers with the insights and practical guidance they need to offer more access routes for young people and make their organisations more youth-friendly. 

In June 2013 the CIPD furthered this commitment by launching a formal partnership with the Inspiring the Future initiative to get HR professionals into local state secondary schools and colleges to help students with their CVs, conduct mock interviews and deliver careers insight talks. 

Over 2,000 CIPD members have signed up to the initiative, providing support to thousands of young people throughout the UK. CIPD members can also provide support through Steps Ahead Mentoring which offers young people, most of whom have never worked before, six one-to-one mentoring sessions with CIPD members to help them improve their employability skills, boost their confidence and find work. 

Young jobseekers (aged 18-24) are referred to Steps Ahead by Jobcentre Plus advisers, and other selected partners. To date, 73% of those who have completed the programme go on to find work or work experience.

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