Make or break summer for young people
With recent statistics showing that there are 138,000 young people in Yorkshire and Humberside not in education, employment or training and competition for work experience places intensifying, the summer holidays mark a pivotal time for thousands of young people as they prepare for the world of work. O2 is calling on other businesses to take action to help young people into work as well as providing top tips and advice to help young job-seekers in Leeds get on the career ladder this summer.
O2 is the largest single site employer in Leeds with more than 2,500 people at its site at the Arlington Business Centre. It also has O2 stores in the City and at White Rose.
O2’s HR Director, Ann Pickering, said: “At O2, 25% of our workforce is under 25 so we’re privileged to see first-hand the benefits that young people bring to our workplace. But we know that young people today are facing some of the toughest employment challenges ever. We are launching a new paid internship programme that will give 50 young people the opportunity to develop invaluable skills and experiences and give them the vital boost they need before entering the world of full-time work.
“All businesses, big and small, have a role to play in supporting young people on their journey to work. We’re calling for companies up and down the country to take steps towards supporting young people in their area. Offering quality work experience and apprenticeships are important but providing simple advice on what to wear on your first day or what to take to a meeting are just as valuable as young people take their first steps into the world of work.”
O2’s top tips to get on the career ladder this summer
- Highlight your digital skills
In this digital age, now is the time to capitalise on the digital skills you have in abundance. Draw these skills to a potential employer’s attention and show why you think they are valuable.
- Get experience
Gaining experience doesn’t have to mean months of unpaid work but rather valuable experiences that will benefit both you and your employer. This could be anything from taking part in a local sport or interest group, work experience or volunteering with a local charity.
- Show what you’ve learnt
When employers receive thousands of applications each year it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. Make it easy for a recruiter to put you through to the next stage by matching your skills with the ones that they’ve specifically asked for in the job description.
- Be prepared
When you’re getting ready for an interview make sure you’ve done all the necessary preparation. Take time to plan what you’re going to wear or how you’re going to get to the interview. They’re easy and will make you feel more relaxed and help you concentrate on the important job of selling yourself!
- Demonstrate your potential
When we recruit young people at O2 we don’t expect them to be experts at this stage in their career. What we are looking for is the potential to develop. Your application or interview is your chance to show them what they’re missing out on.
To apply for one of the internships or for more information and careers advice visit: http://www.o2careers.co.uk
 Figures taken from the Department of Education NEET figures for Quarter 1 2012, released on 24th May 2012. 138,000 equates to 18.3% of 16 to 24 year olds in Yorkshire and Humberside.
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