Bristol (UK), August 2022 - Award-winning digital learning provider Sponge has partnered with Youth Group, one of the UK's largest communities of young people, to begin the process of becoming a Youth Verified® organisation.
The Youth Verified® initiative was developed by Youth Group to understand how "youth first" an organisation is. Endorsed by one of the world's largest consultancies, verification involves aligning an organisation to the wants, needs, and challenges of young people in the UK.
To become Youth Verified®, Sponge will undertake a verification process to then be officially announced as Youth Verified® and gain access to Youth Group's 1.7 million-strong youth community, as well as corporate partners.
By becoming Youth Verified®, Sponge will extend its talent pipeline and supercharge innovation within the organisation. At the same time, it will work with Youth Group to develop programmes, bootcamps, and events to support young peoples' training needs to ensure the youth verification is fully utilised.
"Over the past decade, there has been a decline in the employment of young people, and at Sponge we believe that we have a social responsibility to help drive economic growth through an inclusive approach to sourcing future talent," said Kerry Goodman, Chief People Officer at Sponge. "Young people bring new skills, as well as fresh thinking and perspective, all of which are critical to future innovation and success."
This sentiment was echoed by Leon Marseglia, Chief Operating Officer at Youth Group: "The speed of change is quicker than the speed of learning, and that's why I am very excited to have Sponge partner with us. The fact that Sponge is now working towards becoming Youth Verified® with our youth verification builds trust between Sponge and the 1.7 million young people in our community."
To date, over 300 companies have successfully become Youth Verified®, and at a time of significant skills gaps, initiatives such as this can be a real game changer. Typically, partners with Youth Group see a 120% increase in applications from young people aged 18-30 once they have successfully become Youth Verified®.