Jumping into jobs with Ribit

By Ellen Singleton

27 April 2016

3 minute read

A sea of students about to face an uphill battle. Image credit - John Walker/Flickr

A sea of students about to face an uphill battle. Image credit – John Walker/Flickr

Interested in buying your own home? What about living without debt? Or maybe finding full time employment after graduation is your thing? Whichever one you choose (and let’s face it, we’d like all three), Australia’s youth are facing an uphill battle to secure one or more of these increasingly elusive life goals. With a quick Google search you can find a whole list of articles and books going into great length about the bleak outlook for young people, and most of us can rattle off statistics to back these claims up (youth unemployment is currently sitting at 20% — the highest percentage since 1997, in case you need one in your arsenal).

But for once we have some good news for the Millennials! Our Data61 team has created a new job matching platform called Ribit. The online platform (currently in beta stage) has been designed for students and businesses. Ribit allows students to promote their strengths and skill sets, and facilitates businesses to seek and connect with students with specific abilities — a welcome change from scrolling through pages of Seek advertisements that ask for graduates with 5+ years of experience.

The platform’s objective is to quickly and easily enable students to find employment related to their study or careers, and for businesses and start-ups to find young workers with the skills businesses need for rapid growth or digital transformation. Ribit’s specific focus is on skills to help businesses transform and grow — digital skills in technology, business, communications and creative design.

Ribit & Speed Networking

We recently partnered up with Fishburners, Australia’s largest co-working space, and the Australian Information and Industry Association (AIIA) for ‘Get Hooked’ — an event which is best described as speed-dating for jobs. Okay, we promise you it’s not what it sounds like! Well, not really.

Students act as potential candidates for individual start-ups, with employers only being given five minutes to interview each student and evaluate their suitability. This means that students get to build their interview skills and networks, saving them from dreaded questions like, “where do you see yourself in five years time?”.

At ‘Get Hooked’ we had 80 students from Sydney-based universities matched to job opportunities with 29 Fishburner start-ups and AIIA businesses. The roles ranged from work in construction, logistics, analytics, gaming, food innovation, travel and design.

While the speed-dating environment makes it high energy and fun for both sides, it also provides students with valuable interview practice, as Ribit Director Liz Jakubowski explains.

“Students are able to build important connections, develop their interviewing skills, gain work experience and improve their opportunities for future careers.”

“Introducing bright students to start-ups and businesses is a great way to accelerate innovation and growth in new companies.”

Inside Australia's largest co-working space. Image credit - Fishburners

Inside Fishburners, Australia’s largest co-working space. Image credit – Fishburners

What next?

We’re hoping to help out as many students and start-ups as we possibly can, and we have another speed-networking event coming up for Geelongians on 27th April. This time we’re working with ICT Geelong to connect 40 students from Deakin University and Gordon TAFE to Geelong based start-ups and SMEs.

Geelong’s business community has suffered blows in recent times: the impending closure of Target’s headquarters and the sacking of Geelong’s city council will hit the community hard.

“We believe building innovation and tech skills into Geelong’s business scene is the best way to keep our economy strong and realise our potential as the Silicon Bay.

“Students are the future of business and innovation in Geelong. We want our students to develop an entrepreneurial orientation by meeting and working with innovative local businesses” said ICT Geelong Director, Aamir Qutub.

The event will feature an innovation masterclass, a speed networking session, Q&A panel session and keynotes on entrepreneurship, innovation and technology.

The event will be held on April 27 at Simonds Stadium and is supported by Deakin University, Gordon TAFE, Geelong Chamber of Commerce, and the Committee for Geelong.

Find out more on how you can work with us here.