O2 and Bauer Media have partnered to launch ‘GoThinkBig’, promising up to 30,000 work experience placements for young people over the next three years.
Backed by £5 million of financing, the initiative for 14-25 year olds across the UK is being launched today with the unveiling of its online platform.
Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2, 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. That is why we are committing £5 million to make GoThinkBig a resource that will offer thousands of opportunities for young people to gain the work skills opportunities that will help them enter the world of full-time work.
“All businesses, big and small, have a role to play in helping support these young people on their journey to work and each of us can benefit by bringing fresh thinking into our organisations. We aren’t just talking about the traditional two week work experience slot but all those opportunities that can help young people gain work skills.
“We want to encourage young people to be confident in the value of their skills to prospective employers. And businesses in turn need to recognise the value that young people can bring – they are the future fuel of the economy and form the generation that will help pull us out of recession. For GoThinkBig to realise its full potential, we need other businesses to join us on this journey.”
The launch editor for the site, which offers young people career advice, insight and inspiration to create their own opportunities, has been freelance journalist Isabel Mohan.
Paul Keenan, CEO of Bauer Media, said: “O2 and Bauer share a common belief that, rather than a ‘lost generation’, we need to inspire a ‘reboot generation’ – a generation that will dictate our future prosperity.
“Our editors and programmers have seen a shift in what youth audiences are concerned about. They are now talking as obsessively about their careers – and about how to start them – as they are about their social lives and relationships. They’re anxious about the future, asking for help and looking for encouragement and inspiration.
“In recognising that we, as employers, have as much to learn from young people as young people have to learn from us, we have created GoThinkBig to level access to work skills opportunities and experience, celebrate new ideas and empower young people to create exciting opportunities for themselves.”