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Dealers should get creative to attract young talent to the industry

Employers need to apply more creative ways of finding and nurturing young talent in order for their own business to bloom, according to Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa, head of Go Think Big, a website dedicated to pairing young people with businesses for internships, work experience, university work placements and gap years.

Ajasa-Oluwa will urge dealers to consider enhancing their business operations by utilising the massive pool of untapped talent among the UK’s graduates, undergraduates and school leavers when he takes to the stage at the AM and IMI People Conference which takes place on June 12, 2014 at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, prior to the prestigious AM 100 Dinner.

He said: “We provide a bridge for businesses and undiscovered young talent and a means for them to recruit, often for the short-term, in a more unorthodox way.”

Launched by o2 (o2 Think Big) and Bauer Media in October 2012, the website provides 16-24-year-olds with work experience opportunities and career advice. So far, Go Think Big has opened up more than 10,000 opportunities and secured short-term placements for youngsters earning them a total of £8 million.

Currently, predominantly media-focused due to AM’s parent company Bauer Media’s involvement and as owners of publications such as Closer, FHM and Heat, Go Think Big is expanding its portfolio to incorporate a host of ‘dream job’ industries including motoring, music and sport and has already incorporated high profile businesses such as Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant chain.

He added: “Many young people have a clear idea and a passion for something but are unclear on how that can translate into a career path. Many of the people using our facility are recent graduates who find themselves struggling to gain a foothold in the job market.

"As well as working opportunities, the majority of which are paid, we help people gain an insight into how the job market functions and how organisations operate in real life.”

Through extensive surveying and profiling of its demographic, Go Think Big has defined nine ‘passion points’ or work areas in which the majority of young people would like to work.

“Obviously these areas, typically media, music and food are huge,” explained Ajasa-Oluwa. “We take their passion and pop the bonnet to reveal the variety of career options within a specific industry.

“We are actively seeking more business partners who are keen to be involved and consider taking on a short-term placement. Location doesn’t matter to us as we are keen to offer opportunities throughout the UK while we also welcome a huge mix of companies from large corporations to SMEs and family-owned businesses.

"What has been encouraging is the feedback we have received from companies who have already been involved and the positive impact offering an opportunity has had on the business in general. From meeting corporate responsibility KPIs to increasing profitability, the value from the company’s point of view has been much more far-reaching than we anticipated.”

Ajasa-Oluwa will illustrate the success of the scheme and its impact on businesses with a number of case studies but in the meantime, any dealers interested in signing up as a partner should visit and select the partner sign-up option.

“We are talking to a few automotive businesses and we are hoping to have our first one signed up shortly and we are very keen to promote the variety of career paths which exist in automotive retail,” he said.

Tickets are available to dealers, manufacturers and automotive businesses, with a limited number of supplier tickets on sale. To book, please contact Emma-Louise Kinnaird on 01733 395133, email  or visit

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  • David Oldroyd - 28/05/2014 23:40

    I agree with the desirability of attracting youth BUT the sector is so insular. It thinks that it is different but it is not. It should look outside of the sector as well as in it. Has it yet embraced omni channel thinking? I contend that it has not.