First Day is a new initiative, designed to be the number 1 way to introduce young people to business.
It provides young people with a new access point to you and your business leaders, a greater understanding of the journey that has led to your success, and how this relates to their own current situation and future options.
Our first target is to inspire 500 harder to reach young people as a result of the festival, but this is very much the beginning of what is intended to be a long-term, collaborative intervention to tackle the unemployment of young people.
First Day was developed following significant exploration with youth charities as to the barriers young people face when considering employment and professional careers.
Much is being done to prepare young people with the skills for work and to develop meaningful opportunities in business. Yet the North West of England- where we are launching- still has the highest level of youth unemployment and, across the country, young people are nearly three times more likely to be unemployed than the rest of the population. This shows that significant barriers still exist.
Our work with specialist youth organisations identified key barriers as:
- Fear of the workplace. For many, a professional environment is new and intimidating. This can stop them taking advantage of opportunities, and result in underperformance if they do.
- Lack of relatable role models. Those who do not have contact with professional business people are unable to relate to them. These young people are unable to imagine a route which could result in them becoming professional and successful too.
Tackling barriers to work requires a ‘stepped’ approach, through which we and our partner youth organisations can guide the young people, to ensure they are ready and prepared to fully experience each new opportunity offered. This means that your own involvement can also be ‘stepped’. These steps include:
Support our #FirstDay campaign and let young people know about your own and your colleagues’ own first days. You can do this on your own website, via social media or by emailing us your story.
We are looking for groups of mentors to support our young people. This can be done through a mass mentoring event- as we are holding at IFB2016 – or as a team of individuals able to relate to and encourage young people.
Host a First Day experience
We want to give all our young people the opportunity to experience a ‘First Day’ within businesses – breaking down the everyday barriers (entering an intimidating setting, what to wear to work, meeting new people in the workplace, tackling new tasks). Please consider hosting a group of these young people within your business and we’ll work with you to make it a success.
If you are able to get involved in any of the above ways, want to discuss sponsorship opportunities or to find out more, please get in touch here.