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Ten young software developers aiming to harness the power of the web to combat youth unemployment will compete to turn their ideas into working prototypes at the Young Person's Hack Weekend.

Hosted by Google and its partners, the RSA, FutureGov and Livity, the contestants will spend two days working with Google's top software engineers, to build online applications and websites that might help young people back into work or training.

Throughout the day, a steering group of young people who are struggling to join the workforce will put them to the test - making sure the online solutions work in practice and appeal to their age group.

The Young Person's Hack Weekend is the latest in Google's 'Interactivism' series of innovation events which aim to harness the power of the Web to tackle social issues. It comes as the UK's unemployment figures rise to a 17 year high, with one in five 18-24 year olds now classified as 'NEET' and over one million young people out of work.

The ten ideas submitted to the competition include:

  1. Cloud Gaming as Personal Tutor (C.G.P.T) Mahmoud Fereydouni's idea is to create a virtual online tutor, where the computer gives intelligent advice based on a person’s situation in life.  

  2. FutureBuilder – Tracey Bleakey's idea is for a site that allows young people to build skills profiles. In response, it highlights the gaps in their experience or skills required for their desired career path and suggests actual work, education or training opportunities that will fill those gaps.   

  3. GamePlan – Lee Hazzard is proposing to build a Facebook app that helps young people break down their life goals into everyday, manageable steps, before assigning them to a "GamePlanner" mentor who will provide support through Facebook and offline to help them meet their goals.   

  4. Gamification – Chantal Barcelona is from the Bigger Idea Community and her idea is to use the usual "procrastination zones" of Facebook, YouTube to create personality assessment tools to see what jobs a young person would be suited to.   

  5. InspireTree – Thomas Marsden wants to make a decision-making mobile and web app that helps young people who don’t know what to do next uncover the opportunities that lies before them. It matches interests, suggests next steps, finds local opportunities and demonstrates where their decisions could take them in the long term, like what jobs they could ultimately end up with if they took a certain decision path now.   

  6. Interactive "CV" Timeline –Annie Jackson, from the Bigger Idea Community, wants to create a website where CVs can be presented in an online and multimedia format, similar to the Facebook Timeline.  

  7. Job Story – Thomas Maxwell's idea helps young people find out about possible career paths, including some that they may not have even heard of, broadening their job options as a result. Information about jobs would be presented using profiles similar to Facebook, and videos, like on YouTube, that would tell the whole "story" of the job, helping the young person to see what it really entails.   

  8. Meet Market  Tom Tobia's idea is for an online and offline platform to create a support network for young people not in education, employment, or training to learn and develop entrepreneurial skills through launching micro-enterprises within the familiar context of street markets.   

  9. Mesh – Networks That Empower – Megan Clatworthy's idea is for an online space where young people, employers, educational providers and community organisations can network with one another. People can use the space to create 3D CVs, use careers advice webinars, post videos about job opportunities and much more.   

  10. Re:Skilled – Terri Herb's idea is for a web application that helps young people identify the skills needed to reach their goals, and helps them to develop and demonstrate those skills by being able to take part in a variety of projects (including projects offered by employers). They can then use videos or other records of their participation in these projects to add to a mini-portfolio. Gaining feedback from people running projects will be an important part of the personal development process. 

The hack weekend follows a round table event hosted by the RSA and attended by representatives from No.10 Downing St, DWP, and Serco. The winning idea may go on to receive further venture support from Google and other organisations.


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