How can we best prepare students for the workplace?

What are we to make of the student who, at a job interview, checks her mobile for messages?

Most young people who enter the workplace for their first job, are, on day one, utterly bemused. 

Of course, to some degree they will be prepared, for they will have heard stories from parents, older siblings, friends who left school a year before…

Unfortunately, 95% of these stories will be at best irrelevant to the workplace they are entering or at worst utterly wrong in every regard.

For entering work is not just about the skills a young person brings to the job in hand.  It is also about the young person’s attitude. 

If the employer and the staff already in place treat the new employee as a responsible adult who is going to work hard for the company, and the young employee doesn’t realise that when a job is complete he/she should find out what to do next, there is already a significant misunderstanding of how to behave.

Indeed, knowing how to behave in the work place can be the most important issue on day one.  The issue reported in the headline above might look bizarre in the extreme, but it has been reported and is just one very graphic example of students simply not knowing how they are supposed to behave.

The problem is, however, that many employers have themselves not properly thought through how they are going to treat the newcomer.  Which is why it is vital for students to understand exactly what sort of situations they might encounter and what they can do about them.

What Employers Want and Expect deals with these issues, as well as with the new demands that employers, in this post-recession environment, are now placing on staff.

The book recognises that under current legislation, employers have an almost total right to dismiss employees who started work after April 2012 during the first two years of employment for any reason, and notes that the average time people now spend in a job is only two years and four months.

Which means, in fact, that around half of the working population have virtually no protection against dismissal without reason.

The book takes the view that in order to stay in work the vast majority of young employees must help themselves by being aware of the current needs and attitudes of employers.

The volume, which is fully copiable and so can be put on the school’s learning platform, copied to disk or photocopied, covers such issues as reliability, accuracy, punctuality, honesty, smoking, communication, written work, swearing, etc.

There is also a commentary concerning what one can write on social media.  As the book points out, many employers will check Facebook and other sites used by their employees to ensure that no one is saying anything amiss about the company that pays the wages. 

It is, in fact, essential reading for everyone going into a job for the first time.

The volume can be bought as a photocopiable book or on CD Rom.

You can see some sample pages at

Publisher’s reference: T1799EMN ISBN: 978 1 86083 895 8


  • Photocopiable report in a book, £19.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £19.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the book and the CD £26.94 plus £3.95 delivery

Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report… please quote the order ref: T1798EMN