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Digital Direction Bringing Careers Guidance into the 21st Century

Three Minute Hero campaign offers students the chance to record their futures

Careers guidance company U-Explore is building a library of user-generated short films to help the nation's schools and businesses inspire young people with relevant and accessible information.

The Three Minute Hero initiative is a refreshingly new approach to providing careers advice. Video capture technology allows anyone in any profession to record their own short film using their computer, tablet or phone. Answering questions about their job, experience at school and what advice they would give their teenage self, the aim is to help young people get a better idea about what a particular role involves and the many routes that can be taken to get there.

With the provision of careers guidance in schools subject to funding cuts, often the quality of delivery ranges dramatically by postcode. What’s more, whilst there is a wealth of information available online, for young people there is often too much advice, or as the Careers Enterprise Company suggested recently, a ‘choice overload.’

All the Three Minute Hero videos will be hosted within U-Explore’s free careers product Start, a programme which matches users to jobs based on their qualities, skills and work preferences. Start is a free, online careers software created by U-Explore, delivering comprehensive, accessible and easy to understand careers guidance to all students. The role suggestions are brought to life through video content of people in that job, which can be filtered so students can be inspired by people from their school or area.

The Three Minute Hero technology also offers schools the opportunity to engage young people in directing their own career paths, by identifying their career heroes and recording the videos with them, to really get an insight into their work and career journey.

The programme is supported by a wealth of business leaders including entrepreneur Matthew Riley, one of Sir Alan Sugar’s advisers on The Apprentice.

Andy Pickles, CEO of U-Explore said: “Most teenagers, including my own, steer towards user-generated video to get the information they need, so it seemed a natural step to offer careers advice in this format.

“Watching a three-minute film of someone who went to your school or comes from your town talking about their job, what they do, how they got there and what they’ve learnt, provides a real source of inspiration to young people. We’re offering guidance from someone they can relate to and an insight into the world of work. There’s a huge opportunity for social mobility, empowering young people to work towards their goals, based on the achievements of real people with real experience.”

The campaign is part of an exciting growth plan for the Leeds-based U-Explore, which is looking to double in size within a year after receiving a £100,000 working capital package from Lloyds Bank.

To watch some of the Three Minute Hero videos and record your own film, please visit http://hero.startprofile.com.

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