Workfinder and Debate Mate unite to prove Work Experience is NOT a waste of time!

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At the London Tech Week Opening Dinner on Monday evening (10 June 2019), in the shadows of the historic Tower of London – built some six centuries before Babbage’s Analytical Engine – and in the presence of Tech pioneers, we were enthralled by the debating prowess of three rising stars who gave us a unique perspective on WHY WORK              EXPERIENCE MATTERS.

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The London Tech Week Opening Dinner at the Tower of London, where funds were raised for this years’ nominated charity, Founders4Schools.  

And we were delighted to announce that Workfinder and Debate Mate have joined forces to help hundreds more young people across Britain by introducing them to the power of Workfinder, with further              collaborations planned.

Debate Mate was founded to overcome social immobility amongst young people aged 9-18, from disadvantaged backgrounds across Britain –    typically those attending challenging inner-city schools and living in areas of high child poverty. They run after-school debate clubs for        students, using their unique mentoring model, which helps develop key skills including critical and creative thinking, strategic teamwork, public speaking, active listening and leadership.

At Workfinder, we call these employability skills, and agree they are    critical to help a smoother transition into the world of work, especially for those living in more disadvantaged areas who don’t have parental networks to rely on. We understand that, even when given opportunity, without confidence it is impossible to make dreams fly.

Working with Debate Mate, we are on a mission to help young people    become well-rounded energised individuals with an interest in the world around them.  

To mark the announcement, Margaret McCabe, CEO & Founder,          Debate Mate said: “We are very excited to launch our partnership with Workfinder. As a social business, Debate Mate works with thousands of exceptional young people across the UK, as well as with the world’s most exciting and innovative companies.

“It’s great that we can combine and harness our experience of both and use the power of Workfinder to create meaningful opportunities that will revolutionise the way people view work experience for good.”

We saw this for ourselves on Monday evening when, in front of a crowd of several hundred, students Khadija Said and Adam Noble debated the thorny topic ‘Work Experience is a waste of time’ (at this point, we were nervous on several levels!).

Khadija argued that when it just involves menial tasks, work experience can have the undesired effect of de-motivating young people, perhaps even making them critical of your business in your local community! Adam countered with several good points, including that, experiences you don’t like can be good too because they help you understand what you DON’T want to do.

Ayman Ahmed then joined Sherry on the couch and talked about the various placements he has taken over the course of several week, and how it felt to become embedded in a business and really understand how they work.   

Workfinder Founder, Sherry Coutu, CBE added: “We are thrilled to be working with Debate Mate on our mission to get 100% of young people 100 hours of work experience per year, that is 100% satisfactory.

“I was hugely impressed by the articulate and confident way in which Khadija, Adam and Ayman made their arguments – and very pleased that we all agreed that Work Experience is valuable, but only if made meaningful. We couldn’t agree more!”

Workfinder has been made possible through the support of partners and funding from the Social Tech Trust, whose vision is for social            transformation to drive tech.  The Trust explores the social issues where tech can transform lives, then invests in and partners with,                     organisations who can make that change happen. Additional funding has been provided by Fidelity, WCIT and UFI Charitable Trust.    

Please sign up to offer Work Experience HERE