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Controversial video challenges youth stereotypes

This news post is over 7 years old

​Same creative force behind F*ck the Poor campaign challenges attitudes towards youth unemployment

A youth employment charity is asking the public to tweet to encourage employers to give some of the UK’s 1 million young jobless the opportunity to get into employment.

The Jobs for the #JoblessGeneration campaign, which is backed by Dragon’s Den’s Deborah Meaden, will lobby companies such as Topshop and M&S to compete against each other to hire young unemployed candidates.

Young jobseekers appear in a controversial YouTube video created as part of the campaign to highlight the negative stereotypes young people face and to demonstrate that, contrary to popular perception, they are keen, committed and want to work.

The candidates were secretly filmed being interviewed by an actor posing as a career advisor.

He asks the unsuspecting interviewees to consider career choices that play into stereotypes about young people, such as getting pregnant in order to claim benefits or selling drugs.

After watching the YouTube video, viewers can click through to a website where they are asked to tweet asking some of the UK’s biggest companies to give young people from the film a chance, while employers can watch their video CVs and offer job opportunities.

The video was created by the same team behind the controversial F*ck the Poor campaign - a social experiment which found the that the public would tell people off for using the slogan but were unlikely to stop to help the very same group.

The campaign from Circle highlights a major battle line between political parties ahead of this year’s general election, where each party has detailed how they aim to tackle the declining but still high 16.2% of 18 to 24 year olds who remain unemployed.

Circle founder Turly Humphreys said: “Our aim as a charity is to help young people with barriers to permanent employment get into work. These barriers can be such things as lack of confidence, lack of role models, basic life skills and of course the catch 22 situation of lack of experience.

"This can be hard work sometimes, but we face a bigger battle trying to change people’s broader perceptions when they meet our candidates, so it’s not an immediate ‘no’.

"Research has shown that we read negative body language and react negatively towards it, almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

"So the more we can change people’s opinions, the more we can help our candidates get a fair shot.”



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