Digital Platform connecting students to future opportunities pilots in the North East

Businesses and colleges from across the North East have met in Teesside at a pilot event aiming to connect them with students and potential employees through a revolutionary new digital service.

The first event of its kind, organised in partnership with the Teesside Learning Trust as a pilot for Tees Valley Combined Authority. Introducing North East business leaders and education professionals to a more efficient way of finding the best young people for their organisations.

Founded in Newcastle, globalbridge is an online platform where school pupils, college and university students can share their talents and ambitions through multimedia content, such as videos, images and soundbites, in a media rich profile.

Businesses, colleges and universities that have signed up to the platform can then search for prospective students and employees, using much more than the basic information provided by traditional platforms.

Being able to search for young people by talents and not just grades is vital for courses and roles where students would be expected to produce a portfolio, particularly in the creative and sporting industries.

Ben Mason, founder of globalbridge, said: “Following 16 years in education, this platform was created to resolve several gaps in the current system.”

“Students are being reduced into a list of grades in the current application processes. We want to bring character and personality back into this process so that young people retain their individuality and can access the most appropriate opportunities and advice for their chosen career path.

“Social purpose is a core value of globalbridge. We want to see all students having equal access to opportunities – regardless of background, schooling, geographical location etc. With talent and aspirations being the key identifier, all students using globalbridge have the opportunity to reach their potential.

“Current systems for universities and employers to engage with future talent are limited, time consuming and often ineffective. globalbridge places future opportunities directly in front of students in school, college and university, whether it be work experience, apprenticeships, internships or full-time positions.

“Industry now has an opportunity to reduce the skills gap by engaging with the future workforce in their formative years. With greater understanding and connections students are able to ensure the relevant skills are in place.”

Using globalbridge, companies and colleges can identify talent and match their skills and grades with the right path within their establishment, therefore benefitting the young person by finding out what is best for them.

Ben said: “globalbridge offers a less costly and more efficient channel for the careers adviser or recruiter, and can improve retention within the organisation by helping to create a more appropriate match from the outset.

“Attendees at the pilot event were very receptive to globalbridge and we’re hoping to replicate this event nationwide as we continue to develop the services we offer.”

Linda Halbert, CEO of Teeside Learning Trust, said: “This unique product provides a fantastic opportunity for students in our Academies to interact in a positive and professional way with businesses. Our students have the opportunity to develop an effective online presence and will be able to create a mixed media CV that fully reflects the skills, talents and attributes they have to offer.

“The students who were present at the launch demonstrated themselves to be confident and enthusiastic users of globalbridge, showing employers that they had quickly become competent users of the platform. 

“Employers could see the benefits of being able to have access to multimedia content, such as videos, photographs and examples of work to look at. The discussions I had with employers showed their enthusiasm for having a tool that supported recruitment and helped them to make more informed decisions.”

Leading education establishments and global companies such as Durham University, Edinburgh University, Sheffield University, KPMG, Watson Burton and the Royal Air Force have already signed up to the platform.

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