22 Mar 2016

Route21: Where young people can find the best opportunities for their future

By Guest

With Demo Day just a couple of days away, we are profiling each of the nine teams currently going through the BGV accelerator. For this post, we sat down and spoke with Farhanah and Nathanael of Route21 – a platform connecting young people with opportunities across London.

What’s the problem you are trying to solve?

Farhanah: Route21 is trying to solve three problems. A lot of young people are struggling to find opportunities and access them properly. The second is that schools lack the capacity to create relationships and market opportunities in an engaging way. It is not presented in a way that young people actually understand what’s being offered to them. The third and final problem is that organisations are struggling to access young and diverse talent.

Nathanael: A lot of the time if you don’t come from the right socioeconomic background, or don’t have the right network, you might have no idea what’s out there that can help you build a career.

What’s your solution?

Nathanael: Route21 is a marketplace that allows young people to easily search for an opportunity that is right for them and one that also allows organisations to connect with diverse talent across local communities. We want to give students the power to book a workshop, inside talk or masterclass and connect with inspirational organisations. We know that experiences shape who you are. With an advanced search, top 10, testimonials, social media integration and real life stories – we want looking for an opportunity to be fun!

Farhanah:  And we want it to be powered through schools –  where most of our young people spend large amount of their time. This means that for organisations, they can plan events or workshops knowing that they will be able to access a more diverse group of people. Our solution is about bringing the community together in one place.

What’s your experience with the problem?

Nathanael: So I left college without any formal training in how to get ready for the working world. I was on a gap year and after 8 months of being unemployed I realised it’s actually quite difficult, especially trying to get into something that I wanted to do which was design. I’d been volunteering for a lot of companies. Fortunately I came across an apprenticeship which I managed to secure that got me on my way (it’s how I met Farhanah).

Farhanah: I managed the community based recruitment for the apprenticeship programme, which was London wide. I know how influential certain opportunities in my life have been in helping me develop, and I want others to be as lucky as I was.

How do you see this impacting the lives of millions of people?

Farhanah: Route21 has the potential to increase the number of young people improving their skills and becoming better informed about their career options.

For providers, filling vacancies more efficiently we hope will encourage employers to create more opportunities for young people – growing the pool of opportunities available.

Nathanael: If the skills, interests and experiences of young people are properly accounted for in the process of matching then retention and take up rates will rise, as will overall employability. By providing personal guidance right from the start and allowing employers to search through profiles, Route21 make it more likely that young people will find an opportunity that suits them.

How can people get involved?

If anyone knows a school, organisation or individual that would want to inspire youth or offer quality opportunities, then please send us an email!

Email: info@route21.org
Website: www.route21.org
twitter @route21official
instagram @route21_official