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A conference connecting the Young Unemployed to future Employers and Mentors

The focus here is on gaining skills and experience alongside industry professionals. Wonder how your industry really works? Connect and get advice. Here youngsters will be given the opportunity to acquire important employment tools and knowledge.

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Written by DeletedUser

* * Updated * * 

This conference aims to empower and enrich the worlds of the young and unemployed by connecting them with relevant professionals in their industry, and building their confidence, skills and knowledge base. 

How it would work:
1) We need to find and attract our target audience. 
The young (and unemployed) could be living with no access to computers or internet at home, and no idea about this conference. We'd (try to) access a list of young 18-24 year olds living at home with unemployment benefits. Send them a personalised invitation by post to the local conference. Ideally, each conference would have a theme, e.g.: Tourism or Business Management etc and you apply for the one you're interested in. 
The unique selling point: 20 paid internships up for grabs for participants.

2) Youngsters RSVP to the conference by first come first served basis, and they need to prove their unemployed. Let's start with a maximum of 100 free tickets.

3) The conference day. The day would consist of mainly 3 events:
  • Youngsters pitch what their passion is and ideal job is. They'll talk about why they're having a hard time finding a job, and ask the professionals present any specific questions and even, how they think of innovating their industry;
  • Industry professionals then go on to give talks and inspire the audience. They'll answer specific questions brought up by the youngsters before; and talk about what they do and how they strive to succeed in their area of business; 
  • Towards the end of the day, youngsters will be applying for the 20 internships up for grabs, by the companies present. Each person can apply for one internship position each; 
  • There will also be time and space for specific workshops e.g.: tool kit for becoming more employable or interview skills;
  • I see this occasion as a great opportunity to introduce Haiyan's Youth Cafe concept. It could encourage the youngsters to 'break the ice' before the conference begins, and it's a physical location at the conference where we could hold specific workshops just for the youngsters to share fears or questions before the conference kicks off in the morning. 

4)  Attendees are invited to access to private community to connect w/ after conference. This could be in the form of a private Linked In group or a purposely built platform. The aim of this is to maintain the flow of connections between youngsters and professionals after the event. This will empower and motivate the unemployed youngsters to keep focused in finding a job AFTER the event, and not forget about it. Hopefully some professionals at the event will offer their free time to response to any queries posted on the community and any useful links. 

5) Internship winners are announced no more than one month after the event.
The 20 internships spots up for grabs are announced and hopefully gives the companies enough time to get in touch with the applicants they thought were most interesting for further interviews before making the final decisions.

6) Internship 'graduates' become mentors for next years conference. 
The point of this being is to create a cycle and connection between all the young and unemployed that take part in this conference. By turning the internship winners into mentors this will hopefully keep the online community alive as well as feeding knowledge and 

How would this event be supported ?
I imagine the conference to be supported by local governing bodies and possible, also local businesses. We could also ensure that half of internships offered would got to local businesses. 
- For example, if one of these conferences is being held in Cambridge and the focus industry is marketing, we'd agree with 10 businesses from the area to offer 10 internships, and the rest could be spread around the UK. This would benefit local enterprises and attract a younger audience to an area. 
In terms of sponsoring and management of the event, it could maybe be run in conjunction with a media partner (e.g.: House and Garden magazine) for a particular industry, as well as a local government authority. 

                                    - - - - -  First Concept - - - - -
I was watching Le Web conference live online yesterday, and there were brilliant arguments and discussions being brought to the stage. The speakers were of course top quality, and the audience of equal calibre, who paid a minimum of 1,300€ for tickets and students younger than 25, a 300€ ticket. But, was there anyone young, unemployed and actively seeking a job in the audience (besides students)? A safe bet would be NO. I want to underline that more than once I heard speakers announce: 'by the way, we're hiring'...

Anyone can stream these conferences online, but the experience of being at one and sparking conversations in person with some of the most interesting people in the digital/tech world (or any other industry) has no price. At the Youth Unemployment Conference we would specifically give these young people a platform to sell their skills to the employers in the audience.

 ☛ Doing some quick research I found the ACEVO and Inclusion Youth Unemployment Conference held in London, aiming to " clarify the important policy questions around the issue and offer the insights of those working with young unemployed people to highlight the challenges of implementation in practice." Who attends this conference?.... - Academics and education professionals - Employers - Prime providers of welfare to work and - Public sector policy workers. There is no sign of including the unemployed - the imminent subjects of the conference.  I see a crucial opportunity and need to bring together employers and the unemployed. 

How it would work
*The conference has one rule: 20 young unemployed attendees must leave the conference with a job*

The 'Young Unemployed Conference' could be adapted for a specific industry, for example the fashion/construction/engineering industries who look for specific skills. Let's also assume the conference would have the theme ' The World in 2020'. 
Respected companies + professionals of a chosen industry were invited to attend, talk and network at this conference for a fee. On the other hand, tickets for the young unemployed participantes would be free of charge, and they would go through a simple selection process 

At this conference, the young unemployed who have the chance to:
1) Pitch what they're good at and passionate about;
2) Why they should be employed by the professionals in the audience;
3) How they see the world in 2020 and how they will adapt to survive
4) Participate in debates/discussions with leading industry professionals
                                - - - - End First Concept - - - 

How will your concept support young people as they transition into the world of work?

It will give them a time and space to connect with other youngsters looking for jobs, with professionals in their industry.

What online or in-person components of your concept will best support this transition?

The aspect of having access to an online community following the conference to stay in touch and connect, I am hoping will be an important support for the young people.

My Virtual Team

Karina McElroy Haiyan Zhang Andrew Li Bov Quintero


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I gave nod to your concept within LAB21. It would be amazing to kick off a pilot with a conference like this!

Also wanted to share The Feast with you because I think that so much of the ideas being generated now for the 'not so young anymore', can be just as beneficial to youth around the world.

If you get some time to browse through The Feast's website, I'd love to hear your insights.

Good luck!

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