Entrepreneur Claims Government’s Approach to Youth Unemployment is Failing as Bigdog.co.uk Helps 20,000 in Its First Month

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With unemployment at a 17 year high and over 1.02 million young people* out of work, an entrepreneur has launched a new service called Bigdog.co.uk to help school leavers find a career.


I’ve spent the last three years working with unemployed 16-24 year olds and the major issue is that no-one talks to them in the right way.

With unemployment at a 17 year high and over 1.02 million young people* out of work, a new service called BIGDOG has been launched offering training, work experience and apprenticeships to young jobseekers, signing up an impressive 20,000 in it's first month. 

Noticing a gap in the market and believing that the government is using the wrong language to speak to young jobseekers, an entrepreneur decided to help. And so BIGDOG was conceived - a website designed to provide advice on training, apprenticeships and jobs for school leavers who don't want to go to university.    

The website is aimed primarily at 16-24 year old jobseekers - a group numbering just over one million, with an increase of 67,000 in the last three months- and is a new concept in recruitment. It is the brainchild of Nick Chadbourne, who previously spearheaded innovative HR and training schemes at a number of businesses. 

Nick explained: “I’ve spent the last three years working with unemployed 16-24 year olds and the major issue is that no-one talks to them in the right way. Government schemes and training providers seem to think if you’re young and unemployed you are just a number, but each person is different with their own concerns and aspirations." 

“The idea for BIGDOG came to me when I was continually asked by young people for unbiased advice and information on all options available to them. Many young don't know where to start their job search, we aim to provide them with the tools they need to get on the first rung of the ladder.” 

The website is designed to help young people develop and progress into the workforce of tomorrow - equipped with appropriate vocational qualifications and a range of life skills. It will also assist them to seek, secure and develop lifetime career opportunities. 

Nick continues “We have been blown away by the success of the site since the launch but we have only just started. The next stages of development are equally exciting. We’re working at building a community of people who will help each other. When you are successful, we will encourage you to share this with other users by providing advice and guidance to them.  This isn’t a quick fix, we want to stay with our users for many years to come, allowing them to share their experiences and their stories with others.”

BIGDOG has partnered with local and national training organisations and employers to ensure a full range of opportunities are available to all its users. Rachel Spellman, Academies Manager at Route 2 Employment, comments: 
“BIGDOG is a great idea. Route 2 Employment believes in training staff in a real life environment. BIGDOG is the only site young people can get all the information they need in one place.

“This not only gives candidates a head start, but enables us to provide local businesses with more capable, professional customer service staff – many of whom are eventually offered permanent work."

The website offers much more than just information and jobs listings. Daily feeds promoting the latest mobile apps, games and money-saving deals provide every visitor with a more valuable experience.

Nick said: “Why should students get all of the discounts and best offers. Everyone loves a bargain or the latest gadget so we scour the web to find the best ones on the market. BIGDOG’s community is all about helping each other and we will always look for the best ways to keep our users ahead of the game”.

For further information please visit http://www.bigdog.co.uk or contact Ben Ormsby or Rick Guttridge on 0161 839 1986 or email media(at)smokinggunpr(dot)co(dot)uk

Notes to editors: 

*Stats courtesy of the Office of National Statistics

Nick Chadbourne has previously work with Freedom Finance, PaymentShield as well as launching and running Synapse Learning, an apprenticeship training provider which successfully trained and deployed over 5,000 young people over the last 2 years. He left in March to set up BIGDOG and is looking to build a group of businesses around ethically employing young unemployed people. He is active in promoting the benefits of employing young people and is an accomplished public speaker.


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Ben Ormsby
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