YES is working towards a community that actively engages and supports young people. Funded by the Ministry of Social Development, Firebrand was initially approached in 2016 to help develop an initiative that would bring Dunedin’s youth unemployment issue to the forefront and engage the business community to take action.
Our workforce is ageing. We need young people who are motivated, engaged and contributing. We’re striving for a community that owns our youth unemployment issue and works collaboratively to solve it. YES was designed to make a real and authentic difference to the lives of Youth and to recognise great employers. Designed to resonate with Youth (16-24 years old), employers and the community - we recognised very early this was about celebrating the aspirational and inspirational stories. For this to mean anything, we first needed to connect with Youth in a way that resonated with them and enabled them to engage.
Starting with research and workshops (including Youth, Advisors and Employers) to pinpoint the underlying factors. We developed the campaign strategy, including naming, branding, web presence, design, marketing and ongoing event engagements. We listened to their challenges, captured journeys and stories, and shared the reality of workplace environments and pathways. We created a safe, non threatening online environment for Youth to interact and connect with employers. Youth seek an opportunity or an industry within the platform, request their preferred opportunity and submit - our employers are supported in taking the next steps. Social channels connect with Youth, their families and support networks.
YES engage with thousands of Youth annually, have enabled jobs, internships, career pathways for further learning and ensured our Youth hear the word YES. Potential employers are now applying to be part of YES as part of their social good marketing and recruitment campaigns. • Since 2016 in Dunedin, 5,460 young people have engaged with YES • Over 80 YES employers provided 900 opportunities • 290 employment-based opportunities provided • 15,619 online community engagements • 2018 YES rolled out to additional location; Eastern Southland • Youth Unemployment in Dunedin decreased by 14.5%
Businesses continue to add opportunities to the YES platform and connect via our social media channels and wtihin the ground support network. No matter what industry, there’s bound to one there to peak interest; from CV reviews, career coffee chats, business walkthroughs to fully-fledged jobs or apprenticeships. After each engagement the YES team followup to gain user feedback from all parties. Employers are screened and they uphold the YES values. Our YES team are young and got their start through internships. For some this turned into ongoing employment. Effectively we have Youth designing for, and connecting with Youth.