Deborah O'Neill joins advisory community of The Youth Group

29 January 2021 3 min. read
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Digital services expert Deborah O’Neill has joined The Youth Group as an Industry Advisor. The Oliver Wyman partner has spent the last 12 years in the firm’s London wing, and is currently Head of UK Digital with the consultancy.

Speaking on her new challenge, Deborah O’Neill commented, “In an increasingly digital world, it is vital that we use technology as an enabler to help young people connect, learn and realise their full potential. I am honoured to be working alongside the Youth Group to increase the reach of their life changing work across the commonwealth.”

As the UK Head of Digital at Oliver Wyman, O’Neill has spent the past two years leading complex digital transformations at some of the world’s largest companies. She helps her clients build out their engineering and delivery capability, making them self-sufficient and able to make changes more rapidly. Widely published on issues relating to how financial services companies can free themselves from legacy IT infrastructure, she has recently worked on the build and launch of several Greenfield businesses.

Deborah O'Neill joins advisory community of The Youth GroupO’Neill is also a Board Trustee with Leap Confronting Conflict – a youth charity providing conflict management programmes and support to young people and the adults working with them. In 2020, she helped provide emergency campaign support to FutureDotNow, while she has also served voluntarily as a Strategic Partner Mentor with Teach First, and as a Senior Business Mentor with Innovate UK.

Jack Parsons, the CEO of The Youth Group, said, “Deborah cares about young people in such a meaningful way and she leads with kindness and cares about lifting others up. Her experience in digital transformation and digital creation is impressive and is recognised for this across the industry. Deborah’s commitment and skills will help us improve the odds for more young people across the commonwealth and I welcome her as one of our trusted industry advisors.”

Founded in 2018, The Youth Group is an online talent business that focuses on the promotion of young workers looking to build their careers, while providing them with the tools they need to get ahead and grow in work. The London-based organisation also has wings in New Zealand, Australia and Canada, and helps enterprise, government and education to engage, recruit and develop youth. Amid the continued coronavirus outbreak, this role will be particularly important, as young workers look set to be one of the most impacted groups by the recession brought on by the lockdown period.

Before the advent of Covid-19, UK youth unemployment – which does not include people in education – stood at a record low of 5.5%. More than 6.4 million youths lost work across the G7 in the first half of 2020. The sustained economic crisis exacerbated by the pandemic looks set to have further deepened this slump since then, with one study from The Resolution Foundation late in 2020 suggesting that, together with pension-age workers, economically active adults between 18 and 29 years old were the most at risk during the second wave of the pandemic. In this case, youth unemployment could soon hit 17% – the same level as in 1984, when Britain was undergoing economic disruption under Margaret Thatcher’s government.