GM's Hidden Talent: Be Clear, Remove Fear - Youth Panel assess GMCVO entry level role

The Greater Manchester's Hidden Talent Youth Panel have participated in their first Be Clear, Remove Fear workshop. 

At these workshops the Youth Panel review entry level job advertisements, recruitment websites and processes for their levels of accessibility. The sessions are an evolution of the Mystery Shopper events the Youth Panel participated in on Greater Manchester Talent Match.

Before reviewing other companies and businesses, GMCVO volunteered to go under the microscope by having their Apprentice Administrator post scrutinised. The Youth Panel reviewed a recent advertisement for the post and the accompanying application materials.

Given this was the first of a new series of workshops,  the Youth Panel constructed their own checklist of features they wanted to see in an advert/application materials.

Below is a summary table of positives and aspects that could be improved:


Positive features Needs improvement
  • The option to come in for an informal chat appealed to the Youth Panel
  • Clear signalling of how much leave the apprentice would get
  • Clarity on the fact it is a permanent contract
  • The flexible working arrangements (although the Youth Panel would have liked a definition of what this meant - this needed explaining)
  • Confusion as to whether the role paid national minimum wage or the apprentice minimum wage
  • Lack of specificity on what levels of ICT and numeracy skills were needed
  • Would appreciate a better explanation of who GMCVO are and why a young person would want to work for them
  • Not one clear and contained list of person spec requirements to tick off: the information is buried in various sections of the application info


The Youth Panel also highlighted unhelpful jargon contained throghout the application materials:



After receiving young person feedback, Tanya Coutts, Operations Manager at GMCVO, said: "We really appreciate the Youth Panel's hard work. There were certain changes we were able to make immediately - especially around removing jargon. 

"We would like to think of ourselves as a youth-friendly employer. We pay our apprentices the minimum wage for their age -instead of the standard apprentice wage - and induction material is provided and worked through with experienced members of staff. For example, the finance team organise a meeting with every new starter to explain salary, holiday, sick pay, and flexible working entitlements. Apprentices can also move between teams to gain exposure to new skills."


"Our new website presents a chance to consider how we project ourselves to prospective young employees."


"However, we do not explain enough of this upfront. Our new website presents a chance to consider how we project ourselves to prospective young employees. We are strategising how best to do this and will feedback to the Youth Panel in due course."

Excellent recruitment practices and progression' is one of the seven characteristics of good employment outlined in the GM Good Employer Charter. 

Employers interested in participating in Be Clear, Remove Fear can contact 




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