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O2 and Bauer want the young to Think Big via new experience hub

Research commissioned by O2 recently found that young people between 16 and 25 don’t know where to go to find work experience or opportunities to learn work skills and therefore struggle to take their first step on the career ladder.

This is the problem set to be addressed by ‘GoThinkBig,’ a £5m campaign launched by O2 and Bauer Media last month, which aims to offer some of the 460,000 unemployed young people experience of the world of work.

The campaign aims to deliver 30,000 work skills opportunities to young people over  the three years via: 

A new online hub - www.gothinkbig.co.uk - to offer career advice, insight and inspiration and a showcase for UK employers to convey opportunities

The research which goes towards forming the project’s goal confounds popular opinion that the majority of employers are seeking candidates who already have experience, GoThinkBig found that 42% of employers believe skills and experience gained in a variety of forms is the most important thing they look for when assessing candidates. 

Additionally: 

  • Over two thirds of businesses (69%) say they do not formally publicise work experience opportunities for young people
  • Fewer than a quarter (24%) of employers say that education is more important than experience – the rest pay more attention to relevant experience and skills
  • Over one third (34%) of bosses say that skills gained working for a charity or activities undertaken supporting their community are just as valuable as formal work experience

It is hoped that GoThinkBig will level the playing field for access to the opportunities available so that any young person with an internet connection can apply. For GoThinkBig to reach its full potential, O2 and Bauer will be asking other employers to make their own work skills opportunities available through the new GoThinkBig.co.uk website.

GoThinkBig is stressing that these do not need to be solely the traditional two week work experience route as it recognises in tough circumstances these may not be the only solution. Other relevant opportunities include offering young people other opportunities such as volunteering, work skills days and project funding. The hope is that other employers will join the programme resulting in a single site where thousands of opportunities are available, all in one place.

From November 2012, GoThinkBig will be staffed by a new team of young people recruited to develop and maintain the programme 

Speaking about the launch of GoThinkBig, Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“GoThinkBig is an innovative social action project that will offer incredibly valuable opportunities to Britain's aspiring young people who want to get on and get into work. This is a fantastic commitment by O2 and Bauer Media and I congratulate them on their effort to get young people the skills they need – and help Britain win in the global race.”

 
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