O2 gifts 'Go Think Big' to the National Youth Agency

  • Since 2012, over two million young people have used Go Think Big to access work experience and develop the skills, experience and mindset to succeed in employment.
  • Go Think Big has also funded over 7,000 social innovation community projects and offered over 53,500 work skills opportunities to young people.
  • As founder of the platform, the UK’s largest mobile network will remain as corporate partner – committed to supporting early careers, helping young people transition to work.

Today, O2 announces that its youth employability platform, Go Think Big, is being gifted to long-time charity partner the National Youth Agency (NYA).

Since 2012, over two million young people have used the platform to access work experience and develop the skills, experience and mindset to succeed in employment. This includes collaborations with Nile Rodgers, Rudimental and Professor Green, alongside SBTV, underground music broadcaster Boiler Room, the Rugby Football Union, TEDxTeen and Stemettes.

NYA is currently the main delivery partner for Go Think Big and they have worked with O2 over the last decade, shaping the platform together into the valuable service it offers young people today.

As the leading national charity for youth work, NYA has a strong track record in delivering imaginative commercial and public sector partnerships, enabling young people to believe in themselves and to prepare for life. By taking full ownership of the platform, including ongoing development and collaboration with the broader youth employability sector, NYA are ideally positioned to ensure that Go Think Big continues to benefit thousands of young people, helping them build the skills to succeed.

As founder of the Go Think Big platform, O2 will remain as a corporate partner, continuing to help young people access work experience and gain skills and supporting the company’s broader diversity, inclusion and social mobility goals.

Together with Go Think Big partners and its employees, O2 has also helped to fund over 7,000 social innovation community projects led by young people and offered over 53,500 opportunities to young people – demonstrating its continued commitment to early careers support. Go Think Big alumni include:

  • Anne Marie-Imafidon MBE launched Stemettes in 2012, which started as a Go Think Big project with £300 funding. It is now an award-winning social enterprise working across the UK and Ireland to inspire girls and young women to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

 

 

  • Lewis Hine, Go Think Big Project Leader, is one of the platform’s biggest success stories. After years of hospital treatment for a chronic illness, he sought funding to set up Friend Finder (now A World With Friends) to help children with long-term illnesses and disabilities find friends. It has since evolved into a national charity – and force to be reckoned with. The charity has even organised proms for disabled young people, who would have otherwise missed out on the experience.

 

  • Claudine Adeyemi set up the Student Development Company in 2014 – a non-profit organisation which aims to provide career-related support and advice to 16-24-year olds finishing their studies. She received funding from Go Think Big to create Career Ear – an app connecting young people directly with workers to get advice and career guidance. Since its inception, over 200 O2 employees have signed up to the app to offer their support.

 

Nicola Green, Corporate Affairs Director, O2 said: “As a founding partner of Go Think Big, which helps young people get a foot on the career ladder, we couldn’t be prouder of the legacy we’ve helped to create. We’re looking forward to our role in this next phase, supporting the National Youth Agency as they take the reins and ensure that young people continue to receive support from businesses across the country. As a corporate partner, we remain committed to supporting the platform, and will continue to help young people access vital work experience in the early stages of their careers.”  

NYA will take over the running of Go Think Big from July this year, as it endeavours to grow the platform with continued support from partners, new funders and investors. The organisation plans to launch a rebranded website in the Autumn – ensuring that the service maintains its relevance for young people as they embark on their career journeys.

Leigh Middleton, CEO of the National Youth Agency, said: “We’ve worked with O2 for over ten years now, and are hugely proud of our role in growing Go Think Big in that time – and we’re delighted that O2 has gifted our charity this innovative youth employability platform, allowing us to maintain the legacy of a hugely influential programme.

“We’re excited about the evolution of Go Think Big, and look forward to continuing our work with O2 and our partners to ensure young people have access to opportunities to build their skills, confidence and employability, helping them successfully transition to the world of work.” 

As well as remaining a Go Think Big partner, O2 is also committed to supporting early careers with its successful early careers programme and varied work experience opportunities. Since 2017, O2 is the only telecommunications company that has been named in the Social Mobility Employer Index.

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