Media FAQs

1: What is Workfinder?
•    Workfinder is a platform to inspire young people to discover exciting career opportunities and explore the working world on their own terms. Aimed at young people aged 16-24, Workfinder enables them to find, shortlist and apply to companies offering placements in their local area.
•    Starting at school and going right through university, each user will have a personal dashboard, keeping a log of their work experience activity and enabling them to give and receive feedback on their experiences and chart their progress.
•    By creating a platform to enable the next generation, Workfinder also enables the next generation of businesses too. Great, growing companies everywhere need access to an engaged and capable workforce of young people with the skills and passion to drive their businesses forward. Workfinder creates powerful links between the two.

•    Spearheaded by myself, and the team at Founders4Schools, Workfinder has over 1,000 start-ups, scale-ups and corporates signed up, including LinkedIn, DueDil, Sage, Zoopla and Salesforce.

2: Why has Workfinder been created?
•    Britain is on the verge of a skills crisis. On one side companies are crying out for talent and saying they value work experience over university qualifications. On the other, the percentage of students accessing quality work experience is dismally low and disproportionately made up of young people from wealthier families.

•    Founders4Schools is in a unique position to harness its database and create a discovery tool, so both ambitious young people and great scaling companies can find each other.

3: What is Workfinder’s mission?
•    Workfinder’s mission is to inspire the next generation and create a pipeline of talent to drive the UK’s most ambitious growth companies.
•    I believe work experience is at the heart of this – regular contact between business and school leavers is crucial.

•    By harnessing technology, we can reimagine how work experience is developed and delivered – going a long way towards solving some of the issues at the heart of the skills crisis.

4: THE PLEDGE: What are businesses committing to by signing the Workfinder pledge?
•    Businesses who sign up have pledged their support to Workfinder, a new platform to inspire young people and give them access to work experience opportunities in growing companies such as their own.
•    The next generation needs guidance to prepare for the future world of work – these businesses understand that work experience is central to this. That’s why they are committing to offering quality, meaningful placements – making sure no young person misses the chance to learn about the working world and boost their employability.

•    By doing so, they will help to create a pipeline of talent which will supercharge the UK’s productivity and give them access to the talent Britain’s businesses so desperately need to grow.

5: YOUNG PEOPLE: How will Workfinder help young people prepare for future careers?

•    Work experience will help young people gain the skills they need to hit the ground running in their first job and make the perfect start to their career.
•    Young talent can now find work experience opportunities with exciting local companies that match their interests.  
•    When it comes to hiring, employers want people who have excellent workplace skills.
•    The jobs of the future are increasingly dependent on skills that can be developed now through work experience - they are vital to ensuring that young people can get what they want from their career.

Proof Points:
•    Research has found that students who have four or more contacts with employers before they leave school are 86% less likely to become a so-called Neet - "not in education, employment or training"
•    94% of recruiters believe an employee with stronger soft skills has a better chance of being promoted to a leadership position than an employee with more years of experience but weaker soft skills

•    75% of recruiting professionals have cut an interview short because a candidate didn’t demonstrate the soft skills needed for the position they had applied for

6: OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL: How will Workfinder aid social mobility?
•    The percentage of students accessing quality work experience is dismally low and disproportionately made up of young people from wealthier families.
•    Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are far less likely to have a network to access valuable work experience opportunities through their families or schools.
•    Workfinder is using technology to level the playing field so that young talent everywhere can find exciting companies where they can develop their skills.

Proof Points:

•    56% of schools report placing less than three quarters of their students and

•    14% reported that none of their students secured work placements in the past year

7: INSPIRING WORK EXPERIENCE OPPORTUNITIES: Why is work experience important for young people?
•    Young people need work experience opportunities at exciting local companies that interest them in order to gain new skills and develop the strengths they already have.
•    Young talent should be able to discover exciting career opportunities and explore the world of work on their own terms.
•    Technology is making the process of finding and applying for work experience quicker and easier.
•    Personalised recommendations will help young people discover opportunities that will inspire them.

Proof Points:

•    Students who experience four or more employer engagements are likely to earn 17% more than peers without the same experience
•    95% of senior managers regard soft skills as equally or more important than exam results alone

•    88% of school leavers say employers should be doing more to provide work experience placements

8: SKILLS CRISIS: How does Workfinder fit into the context of the UK’s current skills crisis?
•    Business needs to do more to solve the skills crisis hampering productivity – starting by boosting the number of quality work experience opportunities available.
•    Companies are screaming out for talent and telling us they value work experience over university qualifications.
•    There simply aren’t enough opportunities for young people to get the skills they need to prepare them for the world of work.
•    Businesses must demonstrate what they’re able to offer young talent and a willingness to help them fulfil their potential. There’s a lot to gain for companies that engage young people early.

Proof Points:
•    Skills shortages are costing businesses £2bn a year
•    90% of firms have faced difficulties recruiting workers with the required skills

•    69% of businesses feel secondary schools do not effectively prepare children for the world of work

9: GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS: How will Workfinder help Britain’s economy?
•    UK businesses need skilled talent ready for work to be able to compete on the international stage.
•    The UK will only continue to prosper as a business destination if we significantly increase the number of young people with skills fit for the workplace.
•    Workfinder has been created to address the root of the problem, by helping businesses find superstar talent that want to hone their skills and be better prepared for success in their first roles.”

Proof Points:  

•    UK productivity per hour is 35% below the German level, and 30% below that of the US

•    Half of UK businesses have faced skills or labour shortages in the last year

10: BUSINESS SUPPORT: What level of support does Workfinder currently have?
•    Major employers are already supporting Workfinder as a result of existing partnerships and the appetite is there amongst UK business to solve the skills shortage we face.
•    Workfinder has been driven forward by a coalition of major employers, reflecting the desire within the UK business community to work alongside schools in addressing the major challenge we face in tackling the skills shortage and helping every young person get the best start possible to working life.”

Proof Points:

•    Workfinder goes to market with over 1,000 start-ups, scale-ups and large companies signed up including LinkedIn, Duedil, Sage, Zoopla and Salesforce

•    82% of scale-ups could grow their companies if they could find people with the skills they need