Somewhere, at some point, in all of our careers someone has taken a chance on us. The chance, no matter how small, has formed part of the complex journey to where you find yourself today.
I've been fortunate throughout my life to have many people, from family to strangers, to take a number of chances on me. So to these people I say thank you.
However, I still see so many young people with drive, ambition and a will to change the world. Sometimes all they need is a chance to get started. To provide that gentle guidance to make the most of those first steps to making a real difference in the world. This post is about taking that chance on someone.
There are currently 1 in 5 young people in the UK who are able to work, yet are not been able to secure employment. I know we are all barraged with depressing statistics everyday and so become desensitised sometimes but let that really sink in this time.
1 in 5.
Breaking the vicious circle of experience
There has to be a better way in which opportunities are created and a level playing field offered to those who are desperate for a chance to break into industry.
One of the biggest obstacles out there at the moment is that youngsters are stuck in the vicious circle that in order to get a job they need experience. Gah! I still remember feeling this frustration daily until someone took a chance on me.
It's not to say that there aren't a lot of great schemes out there making a difference already. There are some truly great internship and apprenticeship programmes where youngsters are gaining valuable experience. The thing is though, even big corporations like the BBC can only take on so many of these kinds of placements a year. A big part of the solution is helping startups and smaller companies take young people on but at the same time reduce any perceived risk of doing so.
In the interim though there needs to be a system of inclusion that allows a significant number of young people the opportunity to participate in real work whilst helping to develop their skills and provide that ever so valuable 'experience'.
The answer to the problem is crowdsourcing
We're working tirelessly at Concept Cupboard to provide a solution that brings both a benefit to businesses, primarily SMEs, and hard working students and graduates who just need that first opportunity to show what they are truly capable of.
The advantage of crowdsourcing is that it can be carried out virtually. Allowing anyone with an internet connection to start participating. To start lending their voice and ideas to a problem that in turn brings them experience, exposure and the foundations of something much bigger.
There is no limit to how many people pitch their thoughts and creativity against a problem, allowing for mass inclusion and a chance to tackle a real problem with which to cut their teeth on.
Education in the UK is fantastic in many ways but more and more it is struggling to keep up with disruptive industries that are creating jobs that weren't around even 5 years ago. We need to pursue more practical routes to training with a laser focus on addressing the growing skills gap between those leaving education and the marketplace.
It's up to all of us
Working on real projects put out by businesses who can use the next generations insight into the new digital economy is an essential part of how we're going to kickstart the economy again. Big corporates, whilst playing a big part in addressing this problem, are not going to be the silver bullet. It's down to the rest of us to move fast, innovate and take a chance on the next generation.
We're just scratching the surface with Concept Cupboard at the moment but we're seeing some really great results so far. However, this is a massive undertaking and every small business across the country is going to have to bear the mantle on this one. It's time for everyone to help start tackling this issue before it becomes 'too big' to solve.
The time has come to change not just the rules of how young people are given a chance but the entire game.