Conor Cotton of Not Going To Uni tells us about supporting young people with their careers through alternatives to the standard university route.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Conor Cotton: I have been in a privileged position that a lot of my family have been working throughout COVID and remaining positive. We have had some unrelated family issues, but who doesn’t!
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined Not Going To Uni.
Conor Cotton: Having taken the leap of “Not Going To Uni” and rejecting all of my university offers back in Sixth Form I have built my career in the Early Careers space working, begin my career at Not Going To Uni back in 2018 as a Junior Sales Executive and building to my current position as Commercial Director and leading the business day-to-day.
How does Not Going To Uni innovate?
Conor Cotton: We have pivoted to deliver new virtual content solutions, especially in light of the pandemic, to ensure we are able to support our target audience with good quality content. This includes the launch of our Parent Podcast, ‘The Parent Perspective’, in partnership with Amazing Apprenticeships.
We have developed an in-house social media agency to deliver social media marketing for our employer partners and drive a strong return on investment.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Conor Cotton: The early careers market, on the whole, has taken a hit due to the pandemic, with a huge decrease in the number of Apprenticeship/Traineeship and other roles available for the 16-24-Year-old audience. This, in turn, meant that the business saw a decrease in engagement and the opportunities available for our audience in the early stages of COVID-19.
We are seeing an increase in the number of roles now, and with the governments recent Budget announcements, a real focus on Apprenticeships and Traineeships.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Conor Cotton: We have had to make the decision to furlough members of the team during the pandemic due to the decrease in activity across the Early Careers market. On the whole, we have learned the need to be agile as a business and ensure that we are keeping moving forward.
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