Productivity: supporting young people into work
Nesta backs GetMyFirstJob.co.uk to create pathways to employment
It’s common knowledge that the pandemic has exacerbated inequalities in our society. This impact is particularly evident in the challenge young people now face when identifying job opportunities and a career pathway that suits them. Recent education leavers and young black workers were hit particularly hard through this period. ONS figures in March 2021 showed that almost two-thirds of people who lost jobs in the UK during the pandemic were under 25. Moreover, these past 18 months have fundamentally disrupted the career choices and progression routes of those leaving education. Covid also disrupted traditional entry routes into early employment, for example, many young people lost out on invaluable work experience opportunities. As we return to some semblance of normality, a new issue seems to be arising around a lack of job candidate supply with a boom in available vacancies.
The need therefore to support all young people (and employers) as we come out of the pandemic is acute, particularly in terms of ensuring social mobility and overcoming the Digital Divide. With more entry-level job application and interview processes shifting online, it’s more important than ever to ensure accessibility and equal opportunity for all.
With this challenging reality, we are excited to announce Nesta’s additional investment in GetMyFirstJob.co.uk, the UK’s leading jobs platform helping young people from all backgrounds to connect with the right employer, and offering employers the ability to both broaden and improve the quality of their hiring.
Since Nesta’s original investment in the platform in 2014, GetMyFirstJob has supported more than half a million young people by providing career guidance and support in finding relevant job opportunities. Despite an incredibly challenging 18 months navigating the pandemic, GetMyFirstJob has delivered 30% growth in sales, helping over 40,000 young people into roles in that time.
The company works with schools, colleges, training providers and employers to help connect young talent with apprenticeship, graduate and other entry-level opportunities. Its employer clients include Microsoft, Accenture, BT, DHL, Direct Line Group and CCEP. It also works with Further Education (FE) colleges and training providers to help young people into work. All of GetMyFirstJob’s clients recognise the need to do things differently in the post-Covid age, particularly by embracing digital solutions and AI to attract candidates or help them visualise opportunities. This approach has been proven to increase the diversity of employees. For example, some application rates from candidates in the lower Socioeconomic Status (SES) groups have almost doubled for some clients. You can read about one example with Microsoft here.
Supporting Nesta’s missions
Nesta’s new strategy launched in March this year, contains a focus on boosting productivity in the labour market as part of Nesta’s goal for a Sustainable Future. A key aspect of this strategy is to support people to navigate the world of work and support skills development to ensure people are equipped to adapt to the fast-changing needs of the economy. GetMyFirstJob plays an important role in supporting this mission by ensuring that young people from every background are inspired and able to connect with opportunities and employers that are right for them. This helps boost individual career prospects and overall social productivity. Nesta and GetMyFirstJob have already collaborated to explore interest in ‘green apprenticeships’ – exploring motivations around green jobs for young people.
Nesta’s follow-on investment of £125k, made alongside a further £125k from an existing shareholder, will allow GetMyFirstJob to extend its work in an important and expanding market, as young people and employers adapt to the roles required in the future workforce. We look forward to achieving more together with the GetMyFirstJob team.