Recruitment’s OPERA Global Youth Foundation

This is a conversation between me and Esther O’Callaghan OBE, CEO and Founder, The OPERA Global Youth Foundation.
Esther, we’ve seen a lot about OPERA over the last few months and I wanted to take the opportunity to find out more about how recruiters can help.

Can you start by telling us about The OPERA Global Youth Foundation?

OPERA was founded by recruiters and youth charities uniting to build a global, industry-wide movement to tackle youth unemployment

We started in the UK where there are two million young people who spend at least six months out of work and over 810,000 of those for more than a year.  We believe that by working together, recruiters can make a significant difference to young people struggling to get that first job.

Unemployment can have a devastating impact on a young person’s life so we want to change that for as many young people as possible.

How are you doing this?

Our #thrive fund provides a bursary of up to £500 to support a young person who has successfully completed a programme delivered by our first UK partner and leading youth charity, The Prince’s Trust.  86% of the young people we support remain in work a year later.

Bursaries can be used to provide something as simple as a birth certificate
and a first month’s travel pass through to steel toecap boots, tools,a phone
and a suit and a haircut. Ongoing support is also provided for the first three months at work.

We are also working alongside Youth Employment UK, the All Parliamentary Party Group for Youth Unemployment and industry partners to develop our #thriveinwork programme for 2018.

How can agencies help?

We are entirely funded by recruiters and wider industry partners.  The more agencies who join us, the more young people we can support.

We have three levels of business supporters; Gold, Silver and Bronze.

We work with these businesses to develop fundraising events and activities as well as volunteering opportunities and work placements.  From 2018 we will also be launching our #thriveinwork programme with them.

More information and how to join is here;

How does the Big Challenge help young people?

The Big Give Christmas Challenge is an annual event held between 28 November – 5 December.

What is really special about the OPERA Big Challenge is that the RDLC and Big Give are doubling the first £20,000 of donations raised that week.

By raising £40,000 through this year’s Big Challenge we can support at least 80 young people through the #thrive fund.

We are asking 40 businesses to raise or donate £500 each which will then be doubled by the RDLC and Big Give.

If you are a recruitment agency, a service provider or anyone connected to the recruitment industry we are asking you to get involved and help us build this unique foundation together.

For anyone who would like more information on becoming a business member or to take up the OPERA Big Challenge please contact Teri Etherington
To find out more about the challenges for young people and the impact those challenges have on their lives Esther has written a very moving article.

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