Earlybird “Employability Chats”: Q&A with Isa Mutlib

June 7, 2023

5 minute read

Isa Mutlib FIEP is the Award Winning Director of Careers Camp - AI Powered jobs preparation

In this Q&A, Isa shares his journey from cover supply teacher to Founder of AI powered jobs platform Careers Camp which supports underserved communities who are searching for a job. We also discuss why we should embrace AI and the future role of technology in the sector.

Isa Mutlib, Founder of Careers Camp

Q: Welcome to “Employability Chats” Isa. You are the Director of AI powered Careers Camp which you founded in September last year. Can you share your journey in the sector so far and how you came to launch Careers Camp?

It’s been 8 years since I last worked as a cover supply teacher supporting underrepresented communities and identified there was a massive need with early talent finding jobs. I was initially working at a girls school in 2013 and saw that there was a lack of knowledge about what careers and opportunities were out there. My journey then moved into a social enterprise, then working for a training provider and non for profit organisation supporting apprenticeships and diversity. I left that role last year. I knew there was unfinished business in the sector and wanted to have ground level impact and that’s where Careers Camp from. 

Careers Camp was initially a one day employability programme done in-person however with new AI technology we found we could condense the information into 10-15 minutes so an individual could apply for a job quite quickly. My ambition is that an individual can be ready to apply for a job in 10 minutes. 

Q: Can you tell us what Careers Camp does and how specifically it is supporting underserved communities who are searching for a job?

Careers Camp is an AI powered employability and careers platform. It is about giving early talent access to opportunities with employers they wouldn't usually have access to. Candidates go onto our platform, enter their work experiences and then a cover statement will be produced. We give them the collateral they need to support their application and prove the skills the statement outlines. We also do signposting to training providers and job vacancies from employers.

In regards to underserved communities, it’s related not just to ethnicity but also social mobility cold spots so that means we are helping a wider audience. 

Q: There is some concern about AI removing the human to human interactions between participant and frontline staff which are important. What would you say to address those concerns? 

I think we need to think about AI differently. Instead of just thinking that AI will replace jobs, why not consider that it will increase the capacity of those who are doing the jobs. Think about existing talent being able to increase their outputs. For example, can someone who is currently managing 3 people now manage 10 people. We’ve always evolved using technology - we moved from paper to tools like Excel spreadsheets. 

In regards to concerns about replacing human interactions in the employability sector, we should never replace pastoral support, it's taking away the admin to allow focus on the support, We can actually give more time to pastoral support which is more important and lessen the workload with an AI enabled approach. What this AI driven approach allows is for employability practitioners to work smarter with better capacity of talent they are working with. 

Q: What do you think are the main disadvantages for those further from the job market and what can the sector do to better address it?

Largely around social mobility - lack of access to opportunities, employers, knowledge and also role models. They just don’t have access to the right areas. 

It is the job of frontline employment workers to provide a personalised approach and this requires a lot of attention so they can understand the lived experiences. For example, what are their barriers, what has the impact of an overcrowded house had on someone's health, their education and ability to source work.

Q: What role do you think technology will play in the evolution of the sector over the next few years

I think we need to not just focus on individuals being replaced but that it will actually empower people to do their jobs better. It will accelerate change and give professionals the tools they need to do their job better. 

However, we need to be aware that some people may be left behind with digital poverty. While we are a more connected generation there are those who may miss out if we are not careful. 

Q: What would you say to organisations who are hesitant about using new technology to optimise the journey of those they are supporting?

Embrace it. You want to be in a position where you can access quality candidates coming through. If you don’t embrace technology you will not be able to access them as others will. 

Q: You are a Fellow of the Institute of Employability Professionals (IEP). What does being a member and a Fellow mean to you?

They firstly give access to a fantastic network, but also market knowledge and insight. You always feel you know what you need to know but then experienced people share great insight. Plus, it's a great place to test ideas and gives the opportunity to create sounding boards, have conversations and share insights particularly around the area of technology. 

Q: If you had a magic wand and could make one change to help the sector deliver better outcomes, what would it be?

Better funding and better distribution of funding. There are a small number of organisations who are getting most of the funding.  There are a number of smaller organisations who could make a bigger impact with better distribution. 

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