Working Well was a Design Challenge run in partnership with Nominet Trust in 2012 and 2013. It supported three teams in designing and launching new digital products and services to help young people develop their talents and make a living.

The problem

It’s clear that our current systems are no longer sufficient to create the right opportunities for young people.

Annika Small, Chief Executive of Nominet Trust

With record numbers of 16-24 year olds not in education, employment or training, there is a pressing need to improve how young people secure quality opportunities. "We urgently need fresh thinking and new solutions," says Small. 

Seeing the potential for design and digital technology to make a difference, the Design Council and Nominet Trust launched the Working Well Design Challenge. The challenge invited teams of designers, developers and social entrepreneurs to create new ways of using the internet to empower young people and help them take control of their futures.

The insight

Skill gaps and an underlying lack of confidence can make the transition from school to employment feel impossible.

Mat Hunter, Chief Design Officer, Design Council

Employability comes from more than just the ability to pass exams. Young people also need the confidence, skills and motivation to put their knowledge to good use. We therefore chose to focus our support on solutions that would equip young people with the broader talents demanded by the job market.

Our response

The challenge called for ideas of new ways to use the internet to help young people develop their talents and make a living. A panel of judges selected three winning proposals from a pool of over 80 for their combination of great ideas, subject expertise and understanding of technology and young people's needs. Each team received £50,000, support and publicity to develop its solution. 

Results

All three ventures successfully launched. By addressing a complex problem with practical digital solutions, they turned negative news into opportunity for enterprise and innovation. They show how user-centred design can make a difference to society. 

Discoverables – a game-based website that helps young people find and develop their key skills and strengths and share them with potential employers.

Users earn ‘discoverability points’ and develop their talent by taking on missions and challenges. They also create a rich showcase page that they can email to employers or show at interviews.

Potential employers, meanwhile, can discover raw talent through the Discoverables database instead of retrofitting candidates to jobs.

The Matter – a digital and print newspaper produced and published entirely by young people.

Each edition is their public response to a question asked by the government or a business.

It gives young people the opportunity to tell the world what they think about issues that affect them, while teaching them project management skills, providing hands-on job training and giving them confidence in the workplace.

State of Ambition (previously known as Step Up) – a website that helps young people identify their career ambition and connect with those that can help them achieve it.

It encourages youth to step up and stand out to people in positions of influence. 

Users build a crowd of supporters through a 21-day online campaign, showing potential employers how determined and focused they are. 

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