Discover Your Talent

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Discover Your Talent

Belgium
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Discover Your Talent is a yearly event organized by a team of four companies (this year’s team is Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Elia, Accenture and Securex) together with Maks vzw and Business & Society Belgium. About sixty volunteers from these companies help eighty unemployed Brussels youngsters during one day, by sharing their professional experiences in several workshops to sharpen the youngsters’ employability skills.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In Brussels, youth unemployment is higher than in the rest of Belgium. In some neighborhoods more than 50% of the youngsters remain jobless. 20% of adolescents never finish secondary school, have limited knowledge of their own competences and hold unrealistic ideals when it comes to their own job perspectives. In Brussels, the labor market geared towards high skilled job seekers, (50% jobs require at least higher education). Many youngsters don't have the necessary skills to hunt successfully for a job. Often they don't have a resume, are unsure how to respond to job ads, how to present themselves, generally have no experience with the professional world or are brought up in an environment without any positive role models,

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

With Discover Your Talent, we aim to bridge the gap between the youngsters’ world and the professional world, and give them practical tips on how to look for a job. To that end, we have set up various workshops that run throughout the day, and cover basic skills such as drafting a CV, carrying out a mock job interview, and learning how to use the internet to look for a job. In addition, both youngsters and volunteers get the chance to interact closely throughout the day, which helps overcoming stereotypes and prejudice.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Discover Your Talent is innovative as it establishes a link between the corporate world and the world of disadvantaged youngsters, to the benefit of all participants. Discover Your Talent focuses specifically on employability skills – Discover Your Talent is not a job fair, but volunteers are encouraged to transfer their inside knowledge of the corporate world to the youngsters, to help them advance in their job search. Discover Your Talent aims to enable and empower youngsters.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

As youth unemployment is not limited to the Brussels region, the topic is easily transplanted to other urban settings in Europe. Important is that there is a NPO that can reach and gain the trust of the youngsters while at the same time having a good understanding with the companies. Trust is the key word as both have to work together towards the same or similar goals (promote mutual understanding among participants and volunteers, show a positive image of young job seekers and impoverished areas, give volunteers an opportunity to contribute their time and experience, etc.). It's crucial to manage and discuss expectations on both sides: the social organization may see the companies as potential future employers of the participating youngsters , while the companies may not be in a position to accommodate this. All companies are encouraged to become part of the project.
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

As unemployment among Young Brussels job seekers is an important issue, it is not surprising that quite a few organisations focus on this group. However, the main issue for all these projects is to reach the youngsters and to engage them. Even for Discover Your Talent, this remains one of the biggest challenges each year. Discover Your Talent is unique in that it brings corporations, nonprofit organizations and Young Brussels job seekers. Most other projects do not benefit from the support of the corporate world, whereas we believe that it is the direct contact between professionals and youngsters that make Discover Your Talent a successful format for all participants.
Team

Team

About five times per year we meet with one or more representatives of each company. Each meeting considers the preparation and evaluation of the event. We discuss results, expectations, budget, and other aspects systematically. We take decisions by consensus which functions smooth as we are still relatively few in numbers. Every meeting is organized at one of the participating companies.