Over the last 10 years I have been working, both as a volunteer and as a professional, delivering employability and STEM programmes in schools, colleges and universities. Before this I had a high flying City career in technology and financial services when I stumbled across the world of education.
My son and his friends had formed a Young Enterprise company at school, and I helped them with some cash flows and project management tasks. I saw the ‘light-bulb’ moment when they realised they could work, have fun, earn money and use their education to have a successful business endeavour.
From that moment I was hooked. I saw the positive power of business in education. Their confidence, self esteem and people-skills grew. Sure there were arguments and problems along the way. But given time, it was a 6-month project, they resolved these, self-defined their roles and each team member added value to the endeavour.
Several years later I have been lucky enough to find like minded business partners. Together we set up a couple of ‘not for profit’ businesses to help educate young people in employability skills and business sustainability now and for the future.
Flipping Amazing is a street food business offering work experience to young people with special needs and/or other significant barriers to work. They receive paid employment, training and work references. Our goal is that they get the skills, knowledge and confidence To find employment in local businesses and the community.
Let’s Learn Energy creates practical education work-shops in primary, secondary and 6th form. Our strapline is “a sustainable future for all” and our belief is that change comes from business. Business reacts to consumer attitudes, government initiatives, pressure groups and employee mind-set. We show young people how they can use their education, their passion and professional pathways to achieve change now and in the future.
As well as these two initiatives I am privileged to deliver professional work-shops and events on behalf of Young Enterprise and SATRO.
Employers regularly ask educators to produce ‘work-ready’ young people for the workforce. These charities are dedicated to helping young people plan their education pathways into rewarding employment.
Young people from all backgrounds, interests and abilities are the future of business, local community, government and society as a whole. Empowering them to shape their futures is the most precious gift we can give.