The Age of the Youth?

After last nights gripping match ending in despair for the England football team, it’s important we take a look at how much of a success it was. England got to the semi-finals...something we thought would never happen. Gareth Southgate played a massive role and showed us the qualities of a good leader. However, it is his young team that is the focus of the article. What the World Cup shows us is that even with a young team who are largely new to something of this scale, there is a drive and a determination to prove themselves. I came across a nice quote about the youth by Robert Kennedy who argues that “this world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease” which is something I think we can see here.

What gave the game some added momentum yesterday was the activity on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, platforms predominantly used by young people. It’s fair to say that we live in an age where the opinion of the youth is becoming more and more important. Their voices are put out there...and people are taking note. Big brands are targeting young people because of their social media influence and fearless attitude when trying a new trend. Totem saw this at the National Enterprise Challenge where so many students rushed over to try the GuildWeldVR game, without knowing much about the product) which was a contrast to the teachers and business people who stood back at a distance and observed with some scepticism before being convinced. The enthusiasm of the young people was what made our day brilliant. They really showed the right attitude and early signs of being potential entrepreneurs themselves.  

Many people have compared football, or sport in general, to business. It’s all about teamwork, communication, strategy and leadership ultimately. Totem believes these are skills that we need to push amongst the younger generation to make them ready for the world of work and reach their potential. The world cup has hopefully inspired many to go out there and achieve their own ‘goals’. What we offer is a series of L&D serious games, e.g. Unlock: Employability, where young people discover what it takes to be a top candidate in the world of work (if that’s a route they want to take). Employers will see this as something that gives candidates the edge. If they know a student has completed these games and done remarkably well, there will be a ‘talent pipeline’ which means companies will know based on performance if they are hiring the right person for the job without wasting time. Yes, we may not have got through to the finals in the world cup but it sure has got us all thinking about the potential of young people. I suppose you only really know how good someone will be when you see how they tackle the game.