Investing in the future of the UK workforce

by Stratton Craig

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Not long ago, our Client Director Harriette was invited to Hendon School for an evening of ‘Investing in our Future’. ‘Our’ in this case refers to the school’s students, who’d created the event in partnership with North London Citizens as a way to kick-start their chosen careers.

Hendon School is ranked ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, and has been improving in the GSCE results tables year by year. It’s an incredible achievement when you consider that a significant number of students don’t speak English as their first language. As many pupils also come from disadvantaged backgrounds and qualify for free school meals, opportunities for them to get into their chosen field are often limited in spite of their impressive exam results.

The students organised the event off their own backs, contacting local leaders of businesses across a range of industries and asking them to take part. There was a great turnout on the night, with almost 30 business leaders giving up their evenings to offer insights into their day-to-day roles and responsibilities and what it takes to be successful in their industries. We were thrilled to be representing copywriters, and alongside the ‘creatives’ table a chemical engineer, dentist and financial services company director all took their seats.

After a short introduction by local MP Matthew Offord, small groups of students made their way to the table of businesspeople they were particularly interested in meeting. In a roundtable discussion format, the 16, 17 and 18-year-olds asked career-based questions and looked for advice in getting into their chosen field.

What really stood out for Harriette was the determination to succeed and focus on building a successful future shown by all the students. They knew what they wanted to achieve and they really put their minds to it.

It’s genuinely encouraging that the next generation of UK workers is already inspired and forward-thinking enough to reach out and network. Any business would be lucky to have such driven and ambitious employees. Hendon’s sixth formers and final year students are on the verge of starting out in their chosen fields, bringing a fresh wave of resourcefulness, creativity and youthful enthusiasm into the workforce. We’re just one of the companies that offered a placement to Hendon School students, giving them some valuable work experience that’ll help them in their chosen industry. We very much look forward to welcoming our first Hendon School pupil in the near future. Watch this space for a blog post written by them…

Does your business offer work placements to school leavers or sixth formers? Tell us about your own experiences in the comments.

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