Discoverables, one of three ventures supported through the Working Well Design Challenge, is a website that helps young people find and develop their key skills and strengths and share them with potential employers.

With record numbers of 16–24 year olds not in education, employment or training, there is a pressing need to improve how young people secure the opportunities they deserve. Seeing the potential for design and digital technology to make a difference, the Design Council and Nominet Trust launched the Design Challenge in July 2012.

The challenge brought together leading designers, developers and social entrepreneurs to create new ways of using digital technologies to help young people develop their talents and make a living.

The problem

Aspiring young people are facing a competitive job market with little or no experience. Key elements like language and communication, attitude and sociability are rarely taught in school – even though they are considered twice as important in contributing to success as pure intellect and expertise.

The solution

Discoverables is a website that operates like a game whereby the users earn 'discoverability points' and develop their strengths and skills by taking on missions and challenges. They then create a rich showcase page that they can email to employers or take to interviews.

Discoverables makes candidates who might not have traditional qualifications or career paths more employable. Potential employers, meanwhile, can discover raw talent through the Discoverables database instead of retrofitting candidates to jobs.

Discoverables is about discovering your own skills – then employers discovering you. It’s fun, invigorating and confidence-boosting.

Leonie, Discoverables tester

Discoverables has been created by Spark+Mettle, a charity that helps youth flourish, and Pixelgroup, a digital agency that combines usability and design to create beautiful user experiences. Everyone involved in producing Discoverables benefited from the challenge's focus on digital technology, which provided them with a platform and functionality to engage young people and to develop and promote the site itself. 

The results

Almost two years on from its January 2013 launch, Discoverables has over 1,000 active users and 2,500 challenges completed. It has also recently secured further investment from Big Issue Invest: Tech for Good Challenges and is now based at social tech accelerator Wayra Unltd.

Visit the Discoverables website
Follow @discoverables on Twitter