YouRock: Youth Employability Rocks!


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YouRock is an employability skills tool for young people, that will help young people to recognise their latent business skills. It is fundraising for a Hackathon to build its prototype on

There is a significant challenge with youth unemployment in the EU. 94% of young people are online daily, and yet they often do not use online tools to become more employable or see ICT and science as a route to potential employment despite there being a skills shortage in this area. There are numerous challenges for young people in the early years of their careers, and there is a gap in the online career services, networks and advice provided for them. Young people avoid LinkedIn, the largest career networking site, with only 17% of under 25s in the US having a profile, citing that a lack of employment history would look weak on their profile.

YouRock is a new employability platform for young people across Europe that will fill this gap. It will encourage them to use their existing online content creation activities as evidence of their latent skills and aptitudes. It will involve teachers and tutors in endorsing these skills to help develop a richer career networking profile for them. It will allow them to bridge the gap while they build a career history. YouRock specifically intends to help young people to become more employable, and motivate them to see technology not only as intrinsic to their employability, but also as a potential career opportunity.

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YouRock: Youth Employability Rocks!

  1. 1. Youth Employability
  2. 2. YouRock  An employability network for under 24s in Europe  Fill gap left by LinkedIn - only 17% of under 24s have a profile  Helps young people to recognize latent business skills  Also helps youth to see technology as career option  Crowd-funding for a Hackathon in November   Hackathon develops prototype, full service in 2014
  3. 3. Young people and LinkedIn  “LinkedIn is not forgiving. This issue goes so deep I wouldn’t even know where to start.” Lydia M.  “Starting out on LinkedIn with a blank slate can be quite daunting.” David Johnson  “If LinkedIn was a 20 year old college student who wasn’t the best in anything, it wouldn’t want to join itself.” Kevin Jordan Further Information Young People Hate LinkedIn LinkedIn doesn’t matter to the people who need it most Why aren’t more college students on LinkedIn
  4. 4. Evidence of gap  LinkedIn, the largest employment-focused online network is predominantly excluding young people.  Only around 17% of under 25s in the US have a LinkedIn account. (Google, 2012).  The average age of a LinkedIn user is 44  Young people under 24 form only around 5% of its members (under 18s only 2%)(Pingdom, 2012, graphic right).
  5. 5. Aims of YouRock  It aims to encourage young people to create an online public aspiration profile for themselves, a personal statement of their career hopes.  It will encourage them to use their online content creation activities as evidence of their skills and aptitude. It will give their online ‘social’ activities an employability purpose.  A final aim of YouRock is to encourage young people to see the technology industry as a potential career path.
  6. 6. YouRock and Education  YouRock will recognize that young people create a wealth of online content and that they don’t have an employment history.  It will allow them to champion the things they love to do. It will ask them to aspire, to contribute content and to build a profile that will be rich and can be endorsed by teachers and tutors.  YouRock will require a new understanding from the education sector that it has a role in endorsing young people after their education.
  7. 7. The YouRock audience  Aged 15-24, male and female, European  Employed, unemployed, or in full time education  Have little or no workplace experience or career profile  Have little or no interest in ICT as a career  Use desktop and/or mobile technology regularly  Likely to have range of social media profiles, but not LinkedIn  Seeking to structure their extra-curricular activities
  8. 8. Audience motivation The mission of YouRock is to ensure that young people have direction and opportunity in their lives, that they are not disadvantaged by their age or experience, that they have the tools to empower themselves, and that they see technology as an opportunity.  Improved employability chances  Improved self-recognition of existing skills  Increased confidence  Economic and career development
  9. 9. Targeting  YouRock is ambitious and aims to reach 500,000 young people by the end of its first year, more than 1 million by the end of its second year.  It will target and operate in 11 countries with high levels of youth unemployment across and beyond Europe in its first year.  Countries targeted in the first year are: Spain, Italy, France, UK, Poland, Germany, Greece, Ro mania, Portugal, Ireland and Russia.
  10. 10. Audience engagement  Campaigns: e.g. Get Online Week, eSkills week, EU Youth week  Word of mouth/recommendation: at registration, and at profile ‘completion’  Partners and stakeholders: Education, jobs and careers, youth and student, and technology  Social media and PR
  11. 11. Engaging with Stakeholders  Individuals – to engage with its community and potential developers  Policy/Government – to drive departmental engagement, political awareness raising, and link to campaigns  Education – to engage with teacher/ tutors to encourage the culture of endorsement  Industry and Media – to raise awareness of it in corporate recruitment processes, exploit the capacity of industry to reach young people, and the media for the general population  NGOs – to raise awareness of YouRock as a service that could be utilised in their work  National Organisations – a partner in each of the target countries to act as local liaison
  12. 12. YouRock - a user profile  Personal aspiration – endorsable by tutors/teachers  Latent business skills – endorsable by tutors/teachers (see next slide)  ICT skills – encouraging blogs, social media collections, online activity (see next slide)  Achievements – endorsable by tutors/teachers/project team members  Ongoing projects – with links to evidence/videos/ projects  YouRock rating – by teachers/ tutors/ team/ employers
  13. 13. YouRock USP - recognizing Latent Business Skills
  14. 14. Finances  YouRock will have a low cost initial development phase resourced through a volunteer hackathon and crowd-funding.  Visit to contribute  It is being established in the UK as a LTD company, operating across Europe.  It will seek corporate investment, sponsorship and venture capital.  YouRock aims to be financially sustainable within three years.
  15. 15. Operational plan to launch  Summer 2013: organizational establishment, secure crowdfund target, planning, stakeholder awareness  Autumn: System specification, ongoing financial investment, Hackathon  Winter: Prototype launch, team development, country engagement, translations, system development  Spring 2014: campaign engagement, service launch.
  16. 16. Further Information Ian Clifford  Email:  Twitter:  Phone: +44 (0)7411 118667 