01 May 2019
An organisation which is building bridges between business and young people is holding a pioneering careers fair in Birmingham this autumn.
The venture – a world first - is aimed at consigning traditional careers fairs to the bin, by embracing modern day digital forms of communication.
The event is being held by Slenky, which a digital platform which aims to make business relevant and socially accessible to younger audiences.
According to Slenky founder Cec Richards, who opened the organisation’s Birmingham office in 2017, the idea is to reach out to young people in a way that traditional careers advisers may not be able to.
“It’s about enabling young people to connect to brands – it’s a means of engaging with a young audience,” he said.
He added that the Slenky approach was rather than attempt to place young people in traditional jobs, the process was to start by establishing what their interests were.
Engagement is all done via digital means – and as Mr Richards puts it, “We don’t deal in paper and long winded explanations. What we are interested in is bite sized mobile content.”
In this way, the company is hoping to engage with individuals and groups who might not otherwise find out what careers could be had in Birmingham.
Among those Slenky has helped is Sunjay Kohli (pictured) from Tamworth.
Despite his passion for the music industry, he could see no obvious route in Tamworth to access the industry and its range of opportunities.
Sunjay was able to gain access to people ‘in the know’ and also priceless insights into radio, events, licensing and publishing.
As a result, Sunjay was soon on the move to London, to join American-based ticket sales and distribution company Ticketmaster in a full-time role.
After a year there, he joined Warner Music, to work on artist marketing campaigns.
He said: “I now focus on both marketing and digital artist campaigns, supporting the label’s drive to a new business streaming model.
“I also manage the labels’ influencer brands and increasing the range and quality of editorial/original content. Away from Warner, I conduct in-depth interviews with international acts and work with rising artists on marketing and strategy.
“Slenky provided an incredible platform for me to pursue my goals and to progress. It provided access to a traditionally London-exclusive industry for a Midlands youngster. It’s only logical for major corporations to capitalise on the talent that Birmingham has to offer.”
Mr Richards said: “Sunjay’s fast-track into the industry couldn’t have been achieved via traditional careers services.”
Mr Richards said Slenky had chosen to set up in Birmingham – its other office is in London – was because of the city’s young demographic, and its diversity.
The event in September is part of the company’s efforts to find new ways of helping set young people on the road to a successful career.
The traditional paper based approach – firms handing out leaflets and other paper based information – would be ditched in favour of a digital approach.
Mr Richards said this would be the first time that this approach had been tried anywhere in the world.
The event is being backed by the Chamber, which will be helping to encourage the involvement of the business community, and Birmingham City University, which would be the link with local schools and colleges.
The event will take place in September.