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Businesses asked to Give an Hour to inspire the next generation

Posted on - 24th May, 2019 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - College, Fulwood, Preston News, Schools
Pupils at Corpus Christi High School, Fulwood, Preston, help to launch the new ‘Give an Hour’ initiative. Seen here with school careers and aspirations lead Gary Wood and Madeleine Melling from UCLAN. Picture by Paul Heyes

Business people in Lancashire SMEs are being asked to ‘Give an Hour’ to help young people make career decisions and succeed in working life.

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Launched by The Careers and Enterprise Company (C&EC) in conjunction with the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) the campaign aims to increase the number of businesses engaging with schools and colleges across the county.

Amanda Melton, LEP Board Member for Skills and Technical Education, said:  “We’re asking people who work in small and medium enterprises to give up an hour of their time to tell young  people what the world of work is really like.

 “We’re looking for anything from a single hour in total to an hour a week and there are lots of ways to get involved, depending on what suits participants.

“Hearing from local SMEs is proven to help young people in their careers and boost their employability. But it will also benefit businesses too, making it easier for them to recruit in the future.

“This is one of a number of LEP initiatives that are creating the pipeline of skilled talent that Lancashire businesses need to thrive and which, in turn, is driving job creation and economic growth across the county.“

Stuart Graham, Senior Enterprise Co-ordinator with Inspira, said: “Not only is it proven to be beneficial for a young person to have strong links with local businesses, it also makes perfect sense for employers.

“Recruiting talented individuals is critical for any organisation, so why would you not want to be involved in a school that has direct access to the very candidates that at some point you’ll be looking to attract?”

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Anyone who works in an SME at any level is being encouraged to share their career journey and insights with young people in local schools and colleges as this unique industry knowledge and experience could make a difference to students’ career options.

Activities can include attending careers fairs, giving talks in assemblies or lesson time, hosting workplace exploration visits or talking one to one with an individual who has expressed an interest in a particularly relevant sector or industry.

Along with the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, the C&EC also funds the Enterprise Adviser Network and The Careers Hub in Lancashire, both of which are delivered by Inspira.

Madeline Melline, a Marketing and PR Officer for the Innovation Lab at UCLan is an Enterprise Adviser working with Corpus Christi High School in Fulwood.

She said: “Having businesses so closely involved in the design and direct delivery of careers education lessons in schools brings the local labour market to life and exposes young people to career and employment options they may not have otherwise considered.

“This is a great opportunity for the local business community to help prepare young people for the world of work, raise their aspirations and bring their school subjects to life.

“Hearing a local employer describe how the skills and knowledge pupils learn in the classroom are applied in their own workplace encourages pupils to take their learning more seriously and can have a positive impact on attainment.

“So it really is a win-win for everyone: young people, schools, colleges and the local economy.”

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Teacher Gary Wood, the Careers and Aspirations lead for Corpus Christi, said: “The school recognises that in an increasingly competitive jobs market, collaboration and partnerships are vital in making sure that pupils have the best possible opportunities to understand and engage with the future world of work.

“The careers programme was one of the many areas praised by Ofsted when the school was inspected in February.”

The campaign, which will run for two months, aims to get as many businesses as possible to register their interest.

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