Our Blueprint

Young people

Our Blueprint for young people

We believe we're a perfect match for tomorrow’s innovators, creative thinkers and problem-solvers.

As the first generation to grow up with the internet, young people use technology creatively and intuitively. They are also, of course, our future customers and employees.

Yet, independent research commissioned by O2 and conducted by Development Economics in 2015 into the UK’s future digital skills gap, confirmed that 2.3million more digital-savvy workers would be needed by 2020.

But a lack of work readiness, poor social mobility and the public view that young people felt excluded and disengaged (as reported in our 2012 Youth Matters survey), continued to affect employment opportunities and self-confidence.

Through Our Blueprint, we expanded our reach with schemes to boost employability, digital skills and confidence, working collaboratively within and outside our business.

Together, our programmes and partnerships have since helped 1,044,024 under-25s build digital skills and self-esteem, take steps towards the world of work, set up community projects, commit to social action and even establish their own enterprises.

As a founding partner of the youth programme Go Think Big, we couldn’t be prouder of the legacy we’ve helped create. Together with our partners and volunteers, we’ve helped over 1.7 million young people to develop the right skills, experience and mindset to succeed in the world of work. Now is the right time for Go Think Big to be more independent so it can continue to grow. We’ll still carry on working with the programme to support young people and open up our workforce to a diverse audience.

We’re incredibly proud of everything Go Think Big has achieved so far. We’re confident it has a bright future and will continue to have a positive impact on young people.

Attracting talent

To draw talent to our own business we revamped our recruitment programme and created a remunerated apprenticeship, intern and graduate programme. Apprentices in particular bring enormous value to our business, often moving into full-time roles where they can excel and stretch their capabilities.

But employee engagement has been central, too. Our Blueprint has been supported by 10,000 employees who've supported over 60,000 young people through training, work experience and as mentors - sharing their skills, know-how and life experiences from the corporate world.

Social action and enterprise

In 2013, we joined HRH the Prince of Wales's Step up to Serve #iWill campaign, pledging to back 10,000 youth social action ideas by 2020. We’ll inspire 50,000 young people to take part through Our Blueprint Youth – with 50% from disadvantaged backgrounds or areas of high deprivation. 

We’ve also launched the Gro App with the Do-It Trust to help young people translate their volunteering experience into skills most valued by employers.

And we secured £1m from the Cabinet Office to engage and inspire more young people to take part in volunteering and social action on their journey into the National Citizen Service programme.

Digital skills and employability

In 2015, we partnered with the Government Apprenticeships Service to run a Blueprint campaign, designed to boost UK business apprenticeships.

We also launched the Motimator app in partnership with YouthNet, to provide young job-seekers with expert tips and motivation to help them search for a better career.

With the Business team, we supported the digital transformation of St Helens, Merseyside, offering young people funding and work skills opportunities.

Partnerships for young people

We brought TEDxTeen to Indigo at The O2 in London – showcasing a generation of digital disruptors. This was the first time the event had taken place outside North America.

We supported the Tech Partnership, a network of employers creating the skills for the digital economy, which aims to accelerate the flow of talented people from all backgrounds into technology careers and help companies develop the skills needed for the future.