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CAMPAIGN CALLS ON LEEDS CITY REGION’S SMALL BUSINESSES TO GIVE AN HOUR TO INSPIRE YOUNG PEOPLE

Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has launched a new campaign to encourage small employers to make a difference to the futures of young people in Leeds City Region.

The Give an Hour campaign is targeting small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) to offer an hour of their time to help young people prepare for the fast-changing world of work.

The campaign – run jointly by Leeds City Region and The Careers & Enterprise Company – highlights that in as little as one hour, organisations can help to transform a young person’s future by bringing to life different career opportunities and providing insight about the skills young people need to be work-ready and successful in the workplace.

The campaign also highlights other ways businesses can get involved such as becoming an Enterprise Adviser or becoming an ambassador for their industry and driving enterprise in education.

Evidence shows that regular and meaningful engagement with employers while at school can significantly increase young people’s employment prospects and future earnings.*

Employers are already engaging with thousands of young people across the country, but more employers need to come forward to work with schools and colleges for every young person to get the support they need. Activities can include interview practice, mentoring or working with a teacher to bring a lesson to life.

With an estimated 680,000 people working in an SME, representing 60% of all private sector employment in Leeds City Region, these businesses are key to ensuring all young people get the opportunities they need. The Give an Hour campaign emphasises the importance of tapping into the career opportunities, skills and knowledge of small businesses.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chairman of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership said:

“This is a great way for businesses to find new talent and help shape the future workforce which will in turn benefit the local economy.”

 “Through the LEP’s Enterprise in Education programme we have already created over 32,000 new business encounters for young people and engaged with 250 senior leaders in business to help inspire young people about their future careers.”

“I hope to see more businesses bridging the gap between education and employment over the next few months.”

John Fox, Managing Director at Lucy Zodian and Enterprise Adviser at Trinity Academy, Sowerby Bridge said:

“We have a skills shortage as a business. The argument is that we will continue to have a skills shortage unless we develop a long term relationship with education.”

“Schemes like the Enterprise Adviser Network do just that; they put business people into schools, which benefits not only the pupils but also in the long-run business and the local economy.”

Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of The Careers & Enterprise Company, said:

“We know that hardworking small business really want to support young people in their local community but finding the time can be difficult. There are many ways to make a difference to a young person’s future – and with as little as one hour these dynamic small firms can help a young person discover more about the world of work and open up career paths they didn’t even know existed.”

Employers of all shapes and sizes are encouraged to visit www.futuregoals.co.uk/employers to find out more and register to support a school or college in their area.