Who says youth care less about their future?

An astonishing high turn-up rate for the InterviewsConnect project, organised by Octopus8 and powered by the National Youth Council.

It is natural to wind down during the weekends from yet another stressful week. But guess what, over 800 committed youths aged 15-35 willingly spent their Saturday morning to attend Octopus8’s Head Start workshop (part of the InterviewsConnect project) held virtually on the Hopin. It was a melting pot of youths from different educational backgrounds, such as Secondary Schools, ITEs, JCs, Polytechnics, Universities, Private Schools and even Special Schools. Young working adults also ”turned up” for the program.  

Powered by the National Youth Council (NYC) through its National Youth Fund, this program brought together several industry speakers to give insights into the working world through a dialogue-style interaction with the host on 9th and 16th January 2021.

In addition to dishing out tips and advice, employers’ preferred traits from various industry sectors were also shared with the participants. This helped the participants understood better on how to ace at interviews. Besides listening to the dialogues, the participants took part in breakout room sessions to apply what they learnt from the various dialogues. Many youths took away positive experiences and benefitted from the industry speakers’ sharing.

Featuring industry speakers from various sectors and backgrounds

A youth participant, Charlene Lee, engaging with a facilitator named Lily Cao in a breakout room session about interviews

Mr Alvin Tan, Minister of State, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Trade and Industry supported the event virtually, and shared that he understood the challenges youth face in the current job landscape, as he also had a tough time securing his first job upon graduation during the financial crisis in the late 2000s. MOS Tan urged the youth participants to be open to opportunities, and to pick up new skills in order to better prepare themselves for the future economy.

Featuring Minister of State Alvin Tan’s opening speech for InterviewsConnect

Octopus8 team with Minister of State Alvin Tan at the MCCY Office

The success of this workshop was attributed to a dedicated team of Youth Leaders who oversaw the roll-out of the InterviewsConnect. The team comprised tertiary students across various higher educational institutions namely SP, RP, ITE and NTU. They were given the opportunity to build the program from scratch and being youth themselves, they tailored the program to meet what they and their peers would need. The team also actively managed the program on all fronts ranging from partnership outreach to app development. They relished success when the program was well received from the school institutions and youths.

The youth team behind InterviewsConnect

To fulfil the vision of polishing youths’ interview skills through technology, training and mentorship, InterviewsConnect will next roll out a mentorship program starting March. Many professionals from various industrial sectors will be mentoring the youths, particularly for interviews.