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Posted on 02/02/2018 in Apprenticeship Sector News Stories

YourFeed founder launches recruitment network to plug Linkedin's 'millennial gap'

YourFeed founder launches recruitment network to plug Linkedin's 'millennial gap'

1 FEBRUARY 2018 • 4:01PM

Jack Parsons A24-year-old founder of a recruitment business that went bankrupt is bouncing back with bold plans to give two million young people a “meaningful work experience”. 

The new venture, Big Youth Group, will provide a network for young people to meet businesses searching for new talent. 

Launched on Thursday, Mr Parsons plans to build a marketplace where young people can trade virtual currency, accrued by engaging with the network and that can be exchanged for things like a gym pass, for example. 

It is launching the Big Youth Accelerator, which will provide 10 startups with founders under 30 with a community of 200 mentors who will be on hand to help write business plans, offer sales advice or marketing support. 

Mr Parson's has been granted support from Google's Digital Garage, Accenture and Sage, who will help provide some of the underlying technology for the venture. It is being funded by ex-Havas Media Group boss Paul Frampton. 

Young people need more than just a website to upload their CV, Mr Parsons believes

Mr Frampton sat on the board for Mr Parson’s first venture into youth recruitment, a social network called YourFeed, which attracted an £8m valuation but went into liquidation after 18 months. Mr Parsons told the Telegraph that YourFeed's demise "felt like the end of the world" but came about when investors tried to take too much control.

"They wanted all of me, even every tweet I sent,” he said. 

Mr Parsons has been inspired to help young people into better employment after bad experiences at school and during an apprenticeship. Established corporations were not doing enough to offer younger, less privileged Britons a step on the career ladder. Mr Parsons noticed a gap in the market for a recruitment service that appealed to tech-savvy young people, and managed to attract £700,000 in funding to launch YourFeed.

"A few years ago, I was told that because I couldn’t spell and was not brilliant academically that I should go and work on a building site,” he said. At the age of 24, I have launched and run one business for three years and I am passionate about helping young people like me, that feel failed by the education system and don’t know where to turn."

Big Youth Group is targeting people aged between 18 and 30, whether they are looking for their first break in to business, to start up their own business or to seek a new career. 

The group contains a for-profit social enterprise called the Big Youth Project that aims to create a community of 2 million and connect 400,000 of those young people to real work-life experiences - internships, skills, apprenticeships, jobs, work experience, companies and mentors. The Big Youth Project will initially focus on helping their community into work-life experiences and on the creation of a digital marketplace with phase one of the release that provides micro-mentoring so young people can access a mentor on-demand in the same way they can order a meal or find a date. The Group already has a large community of young people engaged via Whatsapp.

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