The UK currently has just under 7 million 18 – 25 year old's, with 12.5% of them being classified as NEET (not in education, employment or training). That's 850,000 young adults who are at risk of being left behind. Mike Smith, the Founder of CareerSmart, was once part of that statistic: "the idea behind CareerSmart stems back to when I was one of those people who didn't know what they were doing with their life. I did well at my GCSEs and went to university, but some things did not work out, so I ended up dropping out of university and then spent two or three years sort of bumming around doing nothing and not knowing what to do. And that's really tough, especially on your mental health. So living through these experiences, I figured I want to help people who are going through the same thing."
As there is not a huge amount of support available for people once they're out of education, coupled with the fact that the job market is heavily biased towards more experienced workers, a lot of young adults struggle to figure out where to start. Careersmart is the only career consultancy in the UK that explicitly works with young adults or first time job seekers. Mike and his team work with 18 to 25 year olds outside of education. People who have finished their GCSEs, A levels, degrees, and, for some reason, can’t find a job. They help them learn and navigate the complexities of the UK job market.
“Our background is in career coaching, but also predominantly recruitment, so that's a unique selling point that no career consultants seem to have. We have that direct recruitment experience to teach these people all the little sneaky tips and tricks that go behind the scenes to allow them to score their dream job.”
“We offer an eight week 1-2-1 program designed to help young adults identify a suitable career path. And we always start with a question “what do you want to do?”. It sounds like a very easy question, but actually is a very difficult one to answer if you're in that position. So that's where we spend a lot of time at the start just identifying suitable path. We take into consideration people's aspirations and their motivations, and at the same time try to keep things realistic and match them according to their skills. After that comes the recruitment process. We conduct market research, prepare CVs, walk them through the application process and prepare them for actual interviews.
“And the success rates we have speak for themselves. Just over 60% of the people we work with will get job offers during the eight week course itself. Another 22% will then get a job offer in the following three months. So we typically have a success rate of just over 80%. So it's quite effective.”
In order to continue to grow uninterruptedly, CareerSmart is looking to establish itself as a reliable brand people can turn to for support and guidance. And in order to realise their plans, they will need to get third parties involved: “We want to double, triple, quadruple the clients we work with and provide even more value. Currently, we’re trying to get in touch with various universities, local councils and governments to try and get them to support the concept and see if there are more funding opportunities there. But in order to work with officials and governments, we need a well-established brand, which is something we are currently working on.”
When did you start thinking about registering a trademark?
I decided that very early, frankly, within the first month of establishing this business. Trademarks were something I was always aware of and thought of as something necessary for any business. I believe the name careersmart is a very memorable name, and it accurately depicts what we do, and I wanted to protect that. There is another competing business which I became aware of after coming up with an initial idea. So I wanted to get that trademark in place as a safety net for myself. I spent a lot of money on the domain, and I just wanted to make sure that it’s not going to be all for nothing when somebody sent me a cease-and-desist.
How made you choose Trama as your trademark registration service provider?
From the top of my head, there were two or three businesses I was considering, but trama definitely stood out as a fairly logical option for me. I think one of the really good things I personally liked was the simplicity of it. I filled out a free form, and then I got an immediate message back. The message said the trademark had some issues, so then I obviously redid it and resubmitted it as easily as the first time. The whole process felt very reliable because I knew I was talking to somebody who understood what they were doing. If someone got back to me saying, "yeah, everything you just sent me is absolutely fine. Now give me some money." I'd probably feel slightly dubious. But when someone, a professional, gets back to you ready to resolve any issues, it gives me some reassurance. That was why I went with trama in the end.