Go Think Big is a new platform which offers young people career advice, insight and inspiration to create their own opportunities– with advice and funding available – and will bring existing work experience opportunities from a range of employers into one place for the first time.
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.
There are currently 460,000 unemployed 16-25 year olds in the UK who say they have not been able to secure work skills and experience relevant to their chosen career. Furthermore, 41% feel that “going to work with a family member” is currently the easiest route to securing traditional work experience while 26% believe that employers only value formal work placement opportunities supported by schools and colleges.
Challenging young people’s perceptions, 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.
GoThinkBig will be asking employers to offer work experience and this does not necessarily have to be the two week 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 to mean that, for the first time, there is a single site where thousands of opportunities are available, all in one place.
An initial 9,000 opportunities from O2 and Bauer to be offered through GoThinkBig by October 2013 will come in the form of work experience placements, internships, apprenticeships, graduate roles, funding for community projects and places at the newly created Think Big School delivering skills days across the country.
As well as listing work skills opportunities, the online platform will be a creative and inspiring one-stop-shop, taking an editorial approach to deliver advice and information for young people. The launch editor for the site has been freelance journalist Isabel Mohan (who writes for Grazia, The Daily Mirror and The Daily Telegraph). From November 2012, GoThinkBig will be staffed by a new team of young people recruited to develop and maintain the programme and GoThinkBig online platform – supported and mentored by Bauer Media and O2.
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.”