• Businesses urged to help young people get set for the world of work
• 50 new paid internships up for grabs at O2

O2 is throwing open its doors to give 50 young people the chance to learn vital skills through six month long paid internships starting this September. It is also calling on other businesses to follow suit and take action to help young people into work. With youth unemployment stubbornly above the one million mark and competition for work experience places intensifying, the summer holidays mark a pivotal time for thousands of young people as they prepare for the world of work.

Over the next two weeks, until Thursday 16th August, O2 is inviting young people to apply for the exclusive opportunity to get an in-depth insight in to O2’s business. There is a wide range of opportunities available – whether you are a recent school leaver with GCSEs, on a gap year, a university graduate or post grad – the only requirement is that applicants are enthusiastic and passionate with a real keenness to learn.

O2’s HR Director, Ann Pickering, said: “At O2, 25% of our workforce is under 25 so we’re privileged to see first-hand the benefits that young people bring to our workplace. But we know that young people today are facing some of the toughest employment challenges ever. Our new paid internship programme will give 50 young people the opportunity to develop invaluable skills and experiences and give them the vital boost they need before entering the world of full-time work.

“All businesses, big and small, have a role to play in supporting young people on their journey to work and we’re calling for companies up and down the country to take steps towards supporting young people in their area. Offering quality work experience and apprenticeships are important but providing simple advice on what to wear on your first day or what to take to a meeting are just as valuable as young people take their first steps into the world of work.”

O2 has developed a series of top tips below to help young people get on their journey to work.
This summer’s top tips to get on the career ladder

– Highlight your digital skills
In this digital age, now is the time to capitalise on the digital skills you have in abundance. Draw these skills to a potential employer’s attention and show why you think they are valuable.

– Get experience
Gaining experience doesn’t have to mean months of unpaid work but rather valuable experiences that will benefit both you and your employer. This could be anything from taking part in a local sport or interest group, work experience or volunteering with a local charity.

– Show what you’ve learnt
When employers receive thousands of applications each year it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. Make it easy for a recruiter to put you through to the next stage by matching your skills with the ones that they’ve specifically asked for in the job description.

– Be prepared
When you’re getting ready for an interview make sure you’ve done all the necessary preparation. Take time to plan what you’re going to wear or how you’re going to get to the interview. They’re easy and will make you feel more relaxed and help you concentrate on the important job of selling yourself.

– Demonstrate your potential
When we recruit young people at O2 we don’t expect them to be experts at this stage in their career. What we are looking for is the potential to develop. Your application or interview is your chance to show them what they’re missing out on.

To apply for one of the internships or for more information and careers advice visit: http://www.o2careers.co.uk

For more information contact:

O2 Press Office
e: pressoffice@o2.com

About O2 in the UK
O2 is the commercial brand of Telefónica UK Limited and is a leading communications company with over 23 million customers – read more about O2 at www.o2.co.uk/news. O2 runs 2G and 3G networks and was the first to trial 4G/LTE, reaching speeds of over 100Mpbs, as well as owning half of Tesco Mobile. It also operates O2 Wifi, O2 Health, O2 Unify, O2 Media and has recently launched the O2 Wallet. O2 employs over 11,000 people in the UK, has 450 retail stores and sponsors The O2, O2 Academy venues and the England rugby team. Telefónica UK Limited is part of Telefónica Europe plc which uses O2 as its commercial brand in the UK, Ireland, Slovakia, Germany and the Czech Republic and is a business division of Telefónica SA.

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on:
press@virginmediao2.co.uk 01753 565656
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