“You’ve got to have that table stakes of qualifications, but then it’s about you – initiative, extra-curricular activity [and] what you add to that package. Because you are selling yourself to the labour market,” the technology entrepreneur told IBTimes UK.
Linney’s words of advice coincide with the release of GCSE exam results to millions of students across the UK.
The co-chief executive of cloud computing firm Outsourcery has also launched a pilot for workinsight.org, a not-for-profit work experience website for 14-19 year old students.
The initiative, which will be run in association with two London schools and one college, enables employers to provide short work placements called ‘insights’ to young people.
Linney also claimed that the system will create a level playing field, removing the potential bias of details such as race, religion, gender and background.
“There is no selection criteria. In my experience, and in lots of peoples’ experience, there are huge barriers in getting into professions – due to your background or human bias – [we] take than out of the equation,” Linney explained.
Those aged 16-24 years not in employment, education or training (NEET) may also be able to take part in a pilot through plans to partner with Job Centre Plus.
Esther McVey, the minister for employment, said: “Work experience is vital in helping young people to get their foot in the door and build a career.
“The internet has changed the way we look for jobs and projects such as workinsight.org can make this a more exciting, open and effective process.”
The news comes after the Office for National Statistics said that the UK youth unemployment rate (for 16 to 24 year olds) dropped to 16.9%, down from 17.8%, in the three months to June.