Back in January, I asked how we could use social media to help people cope with the personal consequences of the recession. That post sparked a lot of conversations and several projects. From today, we're looking for people to start trying out one of those projects - specifically, young people who are leaving education into the toughest job market for a generation.
Signpostr is a response to the rapid rise in unemployment here in the UK and elsewhere. The site is about helping each other find a way through the recession. It gives people a space in which to:
- talk honestly about the realities of the current job market
- find and share information about resources that are useful for finding work and living cheaply
- create projects, gather people and resources, and get things started
The situation is more urgent today than it was in January. Even if the current signs of economic recovery continue, hundreds of thousands of people are still expected lose their jobs in the months ahead. Among the harshest hit will be those leaving education this summer. As the Guardian reports this week:
figures compiled by the Higher Education Careers Service Unit, which works with careers services, suggest that one in 10 of this year's graduates will be out of work, and many more will be working in bars and retail to make ends meet, or leaving the country.
So it is with those graduates that we want to start testing Signpostr.
From today, the site is open to those with .ac.uk or .edu email addresses - and we are looking for people to try it out and help us improve it.
If you've just left college or university and are looking for work, try it out - add some Resource listings for things you've found that help save money or increase your chances of getting a job; create a Project for that idea you've got that you'd like to make happen; tell people what you need and what you can offer.
If that's not you, can you help us by spreading the word to people you know who are leaving education this summer? Send them a link to:
Finally, you can follow @signpostr on Twitter, where we'll be talking about the site, sharing ideas about looking for work, living cheaply and helping each other through the recession.
Thanks to everyone who's joined in the conversations that fed into this project - both online and face-to-face! I look forward to continuing those conversations as we put Signpostr to the test.