“Enterprise means much more than just the ability to become an entrepreneur. It is that quality that gives an individual a positive outlook, an ability to see the glass as half full rather than half empty, and is a valuable attribute for the whole of life. It is a quality many bring with them on starting primary school but far too many leave secondary school without.”
Lord Young, Enterprise for All (June 2014)
A new Government initiative to support schools by recruiting business volunteers to help with their enterprise and careers activities is currently being piloted around the country. The Government have set up the Careers and Enterprise Company (www.careersandenterprise.co.uk) and asked Local Enterprise Partnerships to deliver on this project. Enterprise M3 (www.enterprisem3.org.uk) covers the M3 corridor.
After a tendering exercise, SATRO (in partnership with the Basingstoke Consortium) have secured the contract from Enterprise M3. In line with the initiative, SATRO have appointed an Enterprise Coordinator whose job it will be to recruit volunteers from all areas of business. Those volunteers will aim to inspire and help young people, when they are looking at their futures.
SATRO are in the process of meeting with schools in Farnham and Waverley to see what they are currently doing and what they need help with - seeing where the gaps are if you like. The feedback so far has been very positive.
The next piece in the jigsaw is to recruit those volunteers from local businesses - Enterprise Advisors (EAs) - to help support the schools' careers and enterprise activities, and that is what we are asking you to consider doing.
The model is for one EA to be linked to one school. He or she would be able to draw upon their local connections (and new ones made through the network) to help support individual schools’ specific needs. They would be supported by the Enterprise Coordinators: not just initially, but throughout.
What would it involve? Well, that very much depends upon what would best help the individual schools.
Evidence shows that this kind of employer/business engagement produces positive outcomes not only for the young people involved, but also for the local economy. The benefits for business include: the opportunity to make new business contacts; positive local publicity; opportunities for their workforce to learn new skills by engaging with the schools; creating a motivated and able pool from which to recruit employees and meeting their social responsibility targets.
Some of us were lucky enough when we were in school to encounter a person who somehow lit a spark and set us thinking about what we would like to do with our lives, we all remember them. So, if you think that you could help inspire young minds… help light a spark… and would like to know more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org .