Thirteen leading UK and international businesses have signed up to GoThinkBig.co.uk, the career development portal for 16-24 year olds, launched by O2 and Bauer Media one year ago, in October 2012.
The companies include Santander, Sony Music, BBC, EY, Feref, Freuds, Cedar, Go ON UK, IPG Media Brands, KPMG, CGI, Blue Rubicon and VCCP. All partners have agreed that they will place future work related opportunities on GoThinkBig.co.uk, including skills development sessions, work experience, apprenticeships, internships and entry level roles, helping make valuable opportunities accessible to everyone.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who recently held a Q&A session with 100 young people, engaged through GoThinkBig, said:
“Everybody deserves the opportunity to reach their potential and GoThinkBig is helping to address a real issue for young people today. It’s great to see businesses working together and fantastic that one year on the number of businesses joining up is still growing.
“When you’re starting out on your career, it can be hard to know where to get the invaluable experience you need. I’m absolutely committed to ending the ‘who you know not what you know’ culture that’s existed for too long – by making work experience available to all, regardless of whether you have well connected friends or family. GoThinkBig is a real asset to that end goal, particularly as it shares the same aim as our Opening Doors campaign which has gathered support from over 150 businesses who are committed to making opportunities for young people fair and open.”
According to recent research carried out by GoThinkBig, one in three (37%) young people currently feel their starter-jobs have less earning potential than their parents did at the same point in their career. Despite advances in technology and education in the last 20-30 years, the results show that social mobility through the jobs market has been out of reach for many of Generation Y.
In its first year GoThinkBig has tried to address the issue of social mobility by offering young people access to relevant work experience, making over 9,000 opportunities available to young people through the site. Founding partners O2 and Bauer have made up the majority of those roles providing more than 3,000 opportunities each in the first year. The 13 new partners offering their opportunities through the site are in addition to the 12 registered businesses that already provide a variety of relevant opportunities ranging from skills days to full time jobs.
Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa, Head of GoThinkBig said:
“GoThinkBig was set up as a response to the catch-22 situation young people were finding themselves in. Without experience and skills, it’s difficult for them to break into their chosen fields; and, conversely, the fact that they’re unable to break into their chosen fields means they’re unable to get any experience.”
“We are proud that one year on, we have offered 9,000 meaningful opportunities to young people across the UK that they can add to their CVs. Employers always tell us they look at experience first and foremost; so adding 13 new partners to the ever growing list of businesses that advertise their opportunities through GoThinkBig feels like a step in the right direction to help address youth unemployment.”
The scheme was set up by O2 and Bauer Media in October 2012 with £5 million in funding and a commitment that the two businesses would make 30,000 experience and skills opportunities available to 16 – 24 year olds over its first three years. O2 and Bauer are always looking for further businesses to sign up to the site to form a ‘coalition of the willing’ in order to provide more work experience opportunities to young people.
* Department of Work and Pensions (2013) Youth unemployment statistic, last updated 11th September 2013.
Nationally representative survey of 1,000 young people aged 18-24 by OnePoll carried out 16 August 2013.
Hope&Glory PR for GoThinkBig
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O2 and Bauer Media joined forces to create GoThinkBig.co.uk, an innovative digital platform which offers careers advice, tools and thousands of high quality work experience and skills opportunities to help young people get a foot on the career ladder. We’re working in partnership with UK businesses including EY, BBC, Zenith and Sony Music and many others to offer 30,000 work opportunities to young people through GoThinkBig in the next 3 years.
GoThinkBig is part of the O2 Think Big initiative – a series of programmes to help 1 million young people gain skills for life by 2015. GoThinkBig is one of three projects that make up the portfolio;
ThinkBig Schools – provides digital skills to children in the classroom.
Think Big Youth Projects – provides small grants to aspiring entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs.
The Think Big programme is now supported by the Telefonica Foundation.
O2 is the commercial brand of Telefónica UK Limited and is a leading digital communications company. With over 23 million customers, O2 runs 2G, 3G and 4G networks. As well as operating O2 Wifi and owning half of Tesco Mobile, O2 has over 450 retail stores and sponsors The O2, O2 Academy venues and the England rugby team. Read more about O2 at www.o2.co.uk/news.
Telefónica UK Limited is part of Telefónica Europe plc (a business division of Telefónica SA) which uses O2 as its commercial brand in the UK, Slovakia, Germany and the Czech Republic.
About Bauer Media
A leading UK media group, with interests spanning magazines, radio, TV, online, live events and mobile. The company aims to connect audiences with excellent content whenever, wherever and however they want.
Bauer Media is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bauer Media Group, a privately owned media empire offering more than 320 magazines worldwide, as well as TV and radio stations. For more information, please visit www.bauermedia.co.uk. For subscriptions and gift ideas, please visit www.greatmagazines.co.uk