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If They're Good Enough

An exciting young prospect made their professional sports debut at 16 years old, making them the youngest player in the club’s history and breaking a nearly 50-year-old record.  Within twelve months, the player moved to one of Europe’s leading teams, the club retired their shirt number to remember one of their own and to inspire other young players. An international debut followed six months later, and they became one of the youngest players to represent their country at major tournaments.

It's a story that sounds like a movie script, and for those old enough, a little bit Roy of the Rovers. But it’s a true story. The story of Jude Bellingham, the England and Borussia Dortmund footballer. A player who is redefining maturity, application, and leadership for the next generation. One, who at every stage of his development, had someone take a risk, based on his skills, not his experience.

There’s been a lot written in recent months about the recruitment challenges many businesses face, all on top of the various economic demands that need addressing. Organisations and industries need to innovate how they advertise and engage prospective employees. With a changing landscape, attracting young people into a business has never been more challenging. Social media is now a legitimate way to share how exciting your vacancies, development, and progression opportunities are.

But organisations don’t always get it right and advertise a vacancy asking for industry or business discipline experience, at pay levels suggesting a more junior level. And while this is not exclusive to roles for school leavers, college students, or University graduates, these are age groups disproportionately affected. There seems to be a disjoint between a recruitment crisis and high youth unemployment, made worse by reports about affordable housing, disposable income, and for those lucky enough to attend University, crippling student debts.

Finding a long-term solution for the perceived skills gap might be easier if we gambled on enthusiastic, fresh-thinking, and free-spirited individuals looking for the first step on their career ladder. As the frequently quoted sports phrase says, ‘If they’re good enough, they’re old enough.’ 

Attributed to legendary Manchester United manager Sir Matt Busby it has been used many times over the intervening 60 years across multiple sports, describing many exciting prospects. It has not always come to fruition that the individuals in question have reached their full potential, but we would never have known if someone didn’t have the confidence to take that risk. The flip side is discovering a diamond, someone who has a massive impact on your team and results. Just look at Jude Bellingham!

Have a brilliant week!

David Rogers, Chief Business Narrator, Fuelled Fit and Fired Up Ltd

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