Here we go again – YouthNet’s cycle of innovation around employability

There is nothing quite as exciting – or as daunting – as beginning a cycle of innovation at YouthNet… and this time we would like you to come with us on this journey. It is exciting because we will be creating a roadmap for new digital solutions that we believe will truly address the issues of young people seeking employment and support them as they enter the world of work. It is daunting because we simply don’t know where that journey will take us.

Ollie Drackford
Head of Marcoms

In our favour, our work around employability follows on from previous cycles that looked at mobile help seeking and homelessness in young people– so we know what we’re doing. However this will be our most ambitious piece of research to date taking in workshops, online consultation, app development, co-creation, expert roundtables, work experience and staff training.

Over the next six months, we will be immersed in the process of strategic concept design, drawing on the experiences and insight of sector colleagues, industry and digital experts and dozens of young people from around the UK. As Operations Director at YouthNet, the pressure comes because I know that my team will be using the outputs of this work to produce content, start peer conversations and deploy online and mobile tools by the end of this year.

Luckily I have learned a few things from previous cycles of innovation that help me to sleep better at night.

  • I know that the power of this process is in bringing young people, sector colleagues, experts, academics, digital thinkers and YouthNet staff together to collectively push thought.
  • I know that by employing creative facilitation techniques YouthNet can turn insight into innovation in our service delivery.
  • I know my team can use this process to create new tools and improve our current services to have greater impact on lives of young people.
  • I know that the creativity and energy of the young people we engage in the process will ensure that we can be confident the solutions we generate are relevant, timely and provide benefit to them.
  • I know that by working with sector colleagues and industry experts we can identify areas in which digital tools can provide unique channels of support that will maximise the use of our resources while complimenting not replicating real world support.
  • I know that it will be a lot of fun.

In previous cycles of innovation, we have published the outputs of our research at the end of the process. In this cycle we will publish our findings as the project evolves through blogs and reports on this website. We welcome your comments and contributions as we move along.

Despite the many initiatives around employability from the public, third and commercial sectors, there are still nearly a million young people unemployed, 600,000 of whom are not yet in education or training. This situation is having a lasting effect on the well-being of young people. We hope you will join us in seeking a solution.


Published on 05-Mar-2014