Friday 10 October 2014


The British Council has launched a brand new multimedia campaign designed to inspire and encourage young people in further education to become more global in their outlook, with the backing of some of the UK’s most inspirational role models.  The activity, entitled #takeontheworld, launches in October and gives entrants the opportunity to win a once in a lifetime creative experience in New York. To enter all they have to do is take on the role of a journalist and record the best stories from people who have inspired them by taking on the world and capture the story.

The campaign is centred around YouTube interviews with a number of well-known 'Ambassadors' who offer their own personal 'take' on their own journeys and stories and also give advice to young people who want to enter the competition but who might find the prospect of working or studying overseas daunting.  The winning interview, judged by the Ambassadors, will be rewarded with a once in a lifetime creative tour of New York, designed especially for the team.

The ambassadors include Conor McDonnell, the renowned Liverpudlian photographer who worked on Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s wedding, Adam Williams, MD of Spotify in the UK and Ireland and across Benelux. Sair Khan who stars in Coronation Street and Alastair Humphreys, the intrepid adventurer, author and blogger.   

The activity comes on the back of a UK-wide survey carried out by Aspect Market research for the British Council that found that UK students in Further Education are looking overseas to gain new skills. Almost half (47%) believe there are more opportunities to work abroad than in the UK, and the same number believe that studying or working overseas will help them get a job when they come back to the UK. Eighty three per cent of young people in Further Education have considered going to work/study abroad when they finish their FE course and more than 90% would like to work with people from other countries. But only 24% feel they’ve currently got the skills to do it.

John Worne, British Council Director of Strategy, said: “#takeontheworld seizes on the fact that working, studying or volunteering abroad is one of the most enriching and valuable experiences a young person can have.  It aims to gives young people the confidence to make the decision that they will take the plunge and go abroad and information on how to do it.  We are calling on anyone involved in helping young people make decisions about their future, including parents/guardians, teachers, carers, social, youth and community workers, to take a look at the competition and encourage them to enter.  

“It’s imperative that UK young people are encouraged to explore the many international options available to them to help them develop their true potential and make their most of their life chances.  Our study confirms that young people want to go abroad but feel they don’t have the skills or the knowledge to go about it. That’s tragic. There’s a world of opportunities to study, work and create abroad out there, but we’ve all got more to do to give UK young people the advice and confidence to make the most of them.” Worne added.


Notes to Editor

*Study carried out among 1,000 young people across the UK September 2014 – Aspect Marketing Research

For a copy of the full research report/further information on #takeontheworld, or to arrange an interview with John Worne, ambassadors or young people who have worked abroad and their experiences please contact Catherine Webber at or call 07798 801610


The campaign has the support of a number of high profile Ambassadors from the worlds of sport, entertainment, business, leisure and social media, together with two young people who have boosted their career as a result of taking up an international opportunity with the British Council.

The Ambassadors will also be supporting the campaign via their own social media channels.

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 7000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the Arts and delivering education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publically-funded grant provides less than 25 per cent of our turnover which last year was £781m. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.

For more information, please visit: You can also keep in touch with the British Council through