A HUDDERSFIELD woman is among more than 60 Yorkshire bosses helping high school students get “business ready” for the workplace.
Michelle Edgar-Parsons, of Longwood-based design and branding consultancy The Individual Agency, is taking part in a pilot scheme with the regional Young People’s Enterprise Forum to offer mentoring, mock interviews, work experience and help with enterprise projects.
The scheme, funded by the Edge Foundation, helps employers work in practical ways with schools and colleges to hone the skills of tomorrow’s workers.
Thousands of firms already work with schools – but YPEF said many more employers would do so if there was a easier way to match what a business can offer with what a local school and its students need.
Business and schools can find out more about working together and register by going to www.businessinschools.co.uk
The Individual Agency has run workshops, guest lectures and mentoring schemes at several schools across Yorkshire – including Cottingham, Hessle, Hull and Wakefield – since registering at the Business in Schools website.
Michelle said work-related learning could inspire young people to pursue a path they might not have otherwise considered.
“There are many young people in the region who lack motivation because their talents lie away from academia,” she said. “They can succeed in the marketing industry without necessarily going through the university process.”
The agency also takes part in mock interviews at Huddersfield schools to prepare students for the sort of questions that a potential employee will ask.
Said Michelle: “The Business in Schools website has provided us with the opportunity to become involved in a range of activities in the Yorkshire area which will benefit our industry and the next generation.”
Among its activities, the YPEF is supporting a campaign by the Yorkshire and Humber 14-19 Challenge to increase and improve links between employers and education..
Bob Jones, regional director for Yorkshire and Humber Education Business Partnerships, said: “We are fortunate in our region that we have tremendous support from local employers.
“In excess of 30,000 are already involved, enabling young people to make informed choices about their future as well as gaining an understanding about the skills, knowledge and personal attributes employers are looking for.
“As members of YPEF, we welcome any initiative that helps promote this and encourages even more companies to get involved.”
YPEF – a group of private and public sector organisations – is speaking to tkey business organisations, including the Federation of Small Businesses, the Institute of Directors and the region’s chambers of commerce to encourage businesses of all sizes to register their interest.