Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Businesses unite to inspire next generation

Employers across the region are being encouraged to back a new Pride of Place campaign aimed at inspiring young people and ensuring they fulfil their potential.

Pride of Place, a group established by Business in the Community and made up of leaders from the public, private and voluntary sectors, is partnering with Sheffield City Council’s See it Be it in Sheffield campaign.

The aim is to increase employer engagement in schools, colleges and other educational settings across the city to help raise the attainment, aspirations and work-readiness of local young people.

Over 60 businesses came together at Meadowhead Secondary School this week to hear directly from the school, young people and Pride of Place businesses Aviva and Henry Boot about how time spent with employers can significantly help shape a young person’s future.

Kam Grewal-Joy, Headteacher at the school, said: “Meadowhead’s mission is to make a difference, we are here to help young people increase their chances in their next steps. Some of our pupil population have strong links to the world of work through their own networks but many don’t. Being part of this campaign will really help every young person in our school to achieve their full potential.”

Young people who had recently undertaken work experience placements were able to speak about how these activities had helped shape their future career plans. Interactions with employers had helped to teach them the skills they need in the workplace.

Pride of Place members, including Aviva, Henry Boot, Mott Macdonald, the NHS, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, and Sheffield City Council, as well as Voluntary Action Sheffield and SADACCA, are asking local businesses to join them in helping to inspire the next generation.

The campaign will be run in 25 secondary schools and will see business leaders and employees meet young people. Primary school children will also get the chance to be inspired about the world of work.

Tim Roberts, Chair of the Pride of Place campaign and CEO at Henry Boot, said: “All our young people deserve the opportunity to fulfil their potential regardless of their background. We were delighted to launch the campaign at Meadowhead School, this week.

“There will be a wide range of opportunities available for employers and employees to get involved in the campaign across a range of settings. All we’re asking for is a small time investment to get involved in mock interviews, give an informal career talk, offer workplace visits or provide 1-2-1 mentoring.”

Research suggests that four or more encounters with employers can significantly improve the life outcomes for young people, strengthen the link between education and employment, and drive a more inclusive and productive local economy.

In addition to outreach in Sheffield schools, the Pride of Place campaign also aims to support the development of technical and vocational pathways for young people aged 16-18 though a new Post 16: Careers Made in Sheffield campaign.

Tim Roberts added: “With your help we can ensure more young people in Sheffield are inspired about employment and their future – we have the opportunity to make a difference to young people in this city which can set them up for a lifetime.”

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