Working with Employers

Working with the Foundation provides businesses and public sector organisations with an opportunity to maximise their corporate and social responsibility commitments, engage with local people and their communities, to promote the professional development of staff through volunteering and raise the public profile of their companies within communities and through the media.

The Foundation has over 2000 businesses registered offering as a minimum work experience placements alongside a number of key business and public sector partners who:

  • Provide volunteers to support education and community initiatives
  • Assist in funding initiatives such as BNY Mellon who fund the Inspire to Aspire project
  • Provide strategic and specialist guidance to the organisation
  • Support the governance of the Foundation as trustees

Organisations may typically engage in one or more of the activities below:

Employability Advice and Support This would include helping young people with C.V. and interview preparation, discussing the importance of personal presentation and the expectations of employers. This could be in school or linked to a visit to the company to reinforce the advice. If other young people in the company are available on that day to share the experiences it would further support the advice offered. Our evaluative evidence indicates that peer contributions are greatly valued.

Enterprise and Work Related Projects This could include Enterprise projects where a group of young people are given a challenge or series of tasks to complete to develop an understanding of the skills needed to complete a project as part of a team – it could be to design a product, produce marketing literature etc where the group has to present findings or produce something at the end of a period of time.  The coordinator would work with the organisation to identify the content of any activity and be on hand to support activities agreed. This could be a task set on a company visit and then students would work on the project for an agreed period of time and subsequently report back to the company with their findings or this could be held over a day at a school as part of an enterprise year group activity.

Personal Development Support Help to develop communication skills, personal presentation etc.  This could be based upon training already provided to company staff or something a training department could offer develop with our assistance.

Specialist Experience A short (two/three day) placement providing the young person with a broad experience of the business process and/or identifying with the coordinator a series of tasks/functions that the project participant can assist with. This experience would be particularly useful in situations where the young person has no knowledge or understanding of the workplace.

Work Placements Providing a young person with a regular work placement to develop an understanding of the world of work and to create a CV of work relevant information where none previously existed.  This experience could be one or two days a week over an agreed period of time  and will be supplemented with skills training as identified by the coordinator to provide the young person with a package that includes accreditation and experience at the end of their company placement to assist them in securing employment. This has been very successful in re-engaging young people with learning or indeed on occasion assimilating into a workforce when an opportunity has subsequently arisen. The Foundation also manages the pre 16 work experience programme offering traditional one or two week placements for young people in year 10 or year 11.

Role Model Interventions This would be an input with an individual or group of young people where employees share their journey to success.  Many successful people started out from modest or sometimes challenging backgrounds – the message “if I can do it – you can do it” can be quite powerful. This could be extended to meeting the group or individual periodically (perhaps as an informal mentor) to get them to share their journey and for the ‘role model’ to encourage commitment to learning (NB working with individuals will require a DBS (ex CRB) check but the Foundation can process that and where appropriate provide additional training).

For further information on the activities outlined above please contact
Phil East via email

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