Happy Birthday: 100,000 student-employer encounters and counting …

This week we are celebrating our first-year anniversary at Founders4Schools. We have graduated from a fully volunteer-led project within SVC2UK to being registered as a charity 12 months ago. Please see our nifty new video and send it to every teacher you know!

Founders4Schools has facilitated more than 600 educational partnerships and brokered more than 100,000 student-employer encounters, at no cost to the student, teacher or school. As the Gatsby Foundation research shows that encounters with just four business leaders decreases five-fold a student’s likelihood of becoming NEET, it is clear how urgent our mission remains.

Approximately 10,000 business leaders can be found by teachers to invite into classrooms and careers fairs.  Teachers choose the leaders according to what is best for their students:  we ensure gender balance in role models invited to speak, curricular and sectoral balance by the recommendation engine behind our search results. We use data science to draw and combine information held in Government and Social Media Databases in a novel manner that is cheap and effective.

Impact:
Our role models triple the percentage of students that choose STEM as a subject:  this is key to our mission as the 1.2 million job openings these companies have are predominantly in roles that require an understanding of STEM subjects.

Impact Reporting:
The ability to compare student-employer encounters by city, Political Constituency, Local Authority, orpartner has ushered in a new era in impact reporting for educational charities.

Collaboration:
In honour of our first birthday, we are delighted to thank all of our partners whose encouragement and support have made this possible and with whom we intend to continue the journey to close the skills gap by inspiring greater numbers of young people across the UK to explore the world of business and technology as a high impact career option.

Reid Hoffman (Founder of LinkedIn) has given support from the very beginning of Founders4Schools which has been instrumental in enabling this engagement between students and entrepreneurs. He knows more than most how fast our labour markets are re-configuring and why it is important for the entire ecosystem to support these efforts.

Secondly, we would like to thank the Department for Education for creating and sharing Edubase. Without this work undertaken by them, we would be unable to verify teachers’ identities or link them to a school and this would have made it impossible for us to have persuaded LinkedinforGood to licence to F4S their various APIs.  Nor would we be able to check the National Pupil’s Database (NPD) what subjects the students are choosing as a result of the type of student-employer encounters they are experiencing.

Thank you Damian Kimmelman, the founder and CEO of Duedil, for your encouragement and support and for continuing to licence us to use your API.  Thank you also to Andy Ashburner, the clever designer to whom we outsourced the F4S Proof Of Concept and engineering development.

It gave me confidence to hire an amazing team, which in turn made it possible to put together a convincing case to Claudia Harris from the Careers and Enterprise Company to extend a generous grant to us, it enabled us to put a case to Kirstie Mackay from Barclays lifeskills to license F4S materials we use to brief teachers and employers on employability. It enabled us to convince people like George Burgess(Gojimo), David Buttress (JustEat), Joanne Hannaford, Josh Graff (LinkedIn), Jon Steinberg (Google) to encourage colleagues to help us to overcome the myriad of technical barriers a small charity would have found insurmountable.

 

New Features:

Founders4Schools will also launch a new feature to celebrate its first birthday - workplace visits. This is our third “employability service” and it flips our normal model of leaders-to-students and brings the students into the workplace.

Workplace visits is the pre-cursor to “work-experience” which we are co-creating with a number of partners to be the fourth service in our suite of student-attainment and employability services. We are piloting in Cambridge, Manchester and Camden, and hope to roll this out in 2017.

We are also working hard to adapt our services to be available to the Prince’s Trust and The Scouts which we feel will dramatically transform our reach to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and improve transparency and charity impact reporting.

Thank you for what you have enabled coming up to our first birthday and also for what we are co-creating in the future. I look forward to reflecting on our achievements by our second birthday.

Sherry & the F4S Team

Founders4Schools celebrates first birthday with Reid Hoffman and other partners…

CkTbMHaXAAAGg-awritten by Sherry Coutu

I’m really pleased to share that this week we are celebrating our First-year anniversary at Founders4Schools since graduating from having been a project run by volunteers out of SVC2UK to be being registered as a charity.

Since that time we  have formed almost 200 educational partnerships and brokered more than 100,000 student-employer encounters.   Pretty neat when you consider the Gatsby Foundation research that shows that encounters with just four business leaders decreases ten-fold a student’s likelihood of becoming NEET. It goes without saying that these100,000 Student-Employer encounters we are responsible for came at no cost to the student, teacher, school or employer.

Approximately 10,000 business leaders can be found by teachers to invite into their classrooms and careers fairs.  We make it easy for the teacher to choose the best leaders according to what is best for their students:  We help teachers ensure gender balance in role models invited to speak and curricular and sectoral balance by the recommendation engine behind our search results. We have made it easy for teachers by employing engineers to use data science to draw and combine information held in Government and Social Media Databases in a novel manner that is remarkably cheap and effective.

Impact:

I’m excited that our role models triple the percentage of students that choose STEM as a subject:  This is important as the 1.2 million job openings these companies have are predominantly in roles that require an understanding of STEM subjects.

Impact Reporting:

The ability to compare number of student-employer encounters by city, Political ConstituencyLocal Authority, or partner has ushered in  a new era in the granularity of impact reporting in educational charities.

Collaboration:

In honour of our first birthday, we are delighted to pause to thank all of our partnerswhose encouragement and support have made this possible and with whom we intend to continue the journey to close the skills gap by inspiring greater numbers of young people across the UK to explore the world of business and technology as a high impact career option.

I’d like to start by thanking my friend Reid Hoffman (Founder of LinkedIn) whose support from the very beginning of Founders4Schools has been instrumental in enabling this engagement between students and entrepreneurs to take place. He will knows more than most importance of role models, how fast our labour markets are re-configuring and why it is important for the entire ecosystem to support the talent gap.

Secondly, we would like to thank the Department for Education for creating and sharingEdubase.  Without their having done this, we would be unable to verify teachers’ identity or link them to a school and this would have made it impossible for us to have persuaded LinkedinforGood to licence F4S their various APIs.  Nor would we be able to check the National Pupil’s Database what subjects the students are choosing as a result of the type of student-employer encounters they are experiencing.  The existence of an open verified source for teachers prevents us from being able to offer our service in other countries. Access to the NPD allows us to be able to see what works without lowering the productivity of the teacher by surveying them.

Thirdly, I’d like to thank the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills for creating Companies House and for enabling its content to be made available to Duedil.  Without your having done this, we would not be able to guarantee the quality of the recommendation we make to teachers. Thank you Damian Kimmelman,  the founder and CEO of Duedil, for your encouragement and support and for continuing to licence us to use your API.  Thank you also Adam Jackson, who headed up Enterprise for BIS who gave us the original grant that allowed us to be able to pay Andy Ashburner, the clever designer who we outsourced the Proof Of Concept of F4S engineering to.

The existence of these databases and the generosity of these people has meant that the very creation of services like F4S is possible.  It gave me confidence to hire an amazing set of people, like Nick Harrison to take forward the POC Andy Ashburner had put together for us, which in turn enabled us to recruit an amazing Board of Trustees andBoard of Advisors who in turn made it possible to put together a convincing case toClaudia Harris from the Careers and Enterprise Company to extend a generous grant to us and to choose to include F4S in 35 of the 39 toolkits for LEPS in the UK, it enabled us to put a case to Kirstie Mackay from Barclays lifeskills to license F4S materials we use to brief teachers and employers on employability. It enabled us to convince people like George Burgess (Gojimo), David Buttress (JustEat), Joanne Hannaford, Josh Graff(LinkedIn), Jon Steinberg (Google) to encourage colleagues to help us overcome the myriad of technical barriers a small engineering charity otherwise would have found insurmountable.

New Features:

Founders4Schools will also launch a new feature to celebrate its first birthday -workplace visits.   This is our third ‘employability service’ and is interesting in that it flips our normal model of leaders-to-students and brings the students-to-the leader’s HQ’s for the businesses.

Workplace visits is the pre-cursor to “work-experience” which are co-creating with a number of partners to be the fourth service in our suite of student-attainment and employability services. We are piloting Proof Of Concept in Cambridge, Manchester and Camden, and all being well, will be able to roll this out in 2017.

We are also working hard to adapt our services to be available to the Prince’s Trust,  The Scouts and other geographies which we feel will dramatically transform our reach to students from disadvantaged backgrounds and improve transparency and charity impact reporting at the same time.

Thank you for what you have enabled coming up to our first birthday and also for what we are co-creating in the future.  I look forward to reflecting on our achievements by our second birthday.

Careers Fairs – Discovering new career paths is easy!

Heading into June, we have seen many teachers booking Careers Fairs to connect their students to the country’s leading entrepreneurs and to help their students discover advantageous career paths.

But don’t worry – there is still time to invite exciting business leaders and innovators to bring life to your upcoming careers fair with their first hand experience in high-impact professions!

Use our free service today to secure the most inspiring speakers that will ensure your students are motivated and informed, as to the many possibilities in STEM careers.

Theresa Sear, Careers Coordinator at the King Richard School, has organised an exciting Careers Fair for her 200 Year 7 to 10 students in mid-July. These business leaders will connect with the students, opening their eyes to the possibilities that lie outside of a standard career path.

The invaluable insight from these innovators and entrepreneurs will be shared at the event, and can be a part of your next careers fair too! Invite local business leaders now – all it takes is five minutes and a few clicks.

Planning your Career’s Fair? Let us help!

Careers Fairs are the perfect opportunity to stimulate students’ interest in booming STEM fields.

Why not enliven these career paths by enhancing your fair with presentations from business leaders and entrepreneurs?

Alison Dewhirst, Curriculum Leader for Careers, Enterprise & Work-Related Learning at The UCL Academy has embodied this idea of providing her 180 Year 7 to 10 students with tangible examples of entrepreneurial success.

By bringing your school’s next fair to life with presentations from business leaders and entrepreneurs, the students will walk away with more than pieces of paper to guide their subject choices and career decisions.

They will have first hand insight into the steps that will lead toward high impact careers.

How your students can become the next teenpreneurs

Would you like bring learning to life?
Check out these teenpreneurs who use technology to build their own businesses at an early age. You can ignite the entrepreneurial fire in your students by bringing business leaders into your classroom.

Rachel Fearnehough, PSCHE Co-ordinator at The King’s Church of England School, is helping 135 of her Y8 students on “How to be enterprising” in June. After running their own charity enterprise fair in the morning session, she invited these four local business leaders to speak to their students and help them “learn from people working in business today who have put their entrepreneurial skills into action in the real world.”

Entrepreneurial Skills that will increase your students’ employability

Would you like to help your students increase their employability?

By giving them access to entrepreneurial skills, you can improve their understanding of new career options and growing industries.

Kathryn Loughnan, Director of Enterprise & Unique Ethos at Avonbourne School, has created her fourth Enterprise Skills Event. Passionate about bringing entrepreneurial skills into the classroom, Kathryn is bringing four business leaders into the classroom in June to speak to 110 Y12 students.

These business leaders will inspire them “to greater achievements and successes throughout life” and showcase entrepreneurial skills that can help the students towards high impact careers.

49c3d4faf5d684e2a4901094875e2528Julian Goodman, founder of Silver Crane Company, spoke at the school last year – watch the video to see what he shared with the students on developing an enterprise skill-set.

They all enjoyed it so much that he will return this year again to inspire the students.


An opportunity to show how you SHINE

If you too have brought local entrepreneurs and business leaders into your school like Kathryn, this is your chance to shine.

Enter the competition and win up to £15,000 by demonstrating how you used F4S to enrich the curriculum and inspired your students develop their core skills and employability with local business leaders.

Let Teachers SHINE is a national competition for teachers with innovative ideas to improve the literacy, numeracy or science attainment of disadvantaged students. You can apply for up to £15,000 to help set up a project in your school. More information and application forms are available here.

The deadline for entries is Sunday 17th April.

The 3 educational trends that will change how students are hired in the future

Do the skills that students learn come from needs the job market defines or does the way students are educated force employers to adapt the jobs and roles available? Some regard this as a chicken-and-egg problem but it’s a topic that’s increasingly discussed and coming into sharper focus…

A recently published article in The Entrepreneur identified three trends that transform education and change how employers hire talent in the future:

1. Increased focus on STEM education
Not only in the US but also in the UK, the shortage of STEM skills causes a skills gap leaving more than 1 million jobs vacant. It also causes the educational system and job market to think of ways to eradicate the gaps so that today’s students are fully equipped to occupy the jobs of the future.

  • One way to show your students what jobs they can pursue with a STEM education is to invite the very people who create those into your classroom via our platform.

2. Easier access to quality education and information
Utilising core competencies and developing new skills at work are the two critical factors influencing hiring decision according to 60% of the 13,000 surveyed employees in the US (2015 Gallup survey). This finding reflects the widely accepted notion that learning doesn’t stop when students leave school and is increasingly evidenced by the rise of edTech and free online training platforms that enable students, teachers and employers to continuously rebuild our skill sets in today’s fast-changing economy.

  • Easier access means being able to speak to employers about possible career paths and which skills to build for their early career. Why don’t you invite local employers to help your students develop innovative skill sets and learn what their careers could be like by organising a free Master Class via our platform?

3. More students are seeking work experience earlier on
65% of college graduates reported that they have completed an internship or work experience placement whilst at school according to this survey in the US.
Here in the UK, acquiring practical knowledge and insights into careers by completing work experience has become the number one topic after Boris Johnson’s announcement last Summer that every student should have done 100 hours of work experience by the time they reach the age of 15. Lots of schools are beginning to see the need and value of finding ways to connect their students with employers – who can offer them insight into the world of work and future jobs.

  • Help your students get the connections that can make a difference for them when they leave education and enter the job market – invite business leaders to prepare them for the careers of the future.

Emilie Delavoix, Enterprise Project Coordinator at Westminster Kingsway College, bridges education and job market by bringing 4 great business leaders into school to give her students insights into the jobs they do and offer and connect them to local employers.

Founders4Schools set to Scale Up with new CEC Partnership

Since we launched Founders4Schools in 2011, we have made incredible progress building a service that improves student employability.  The aim has always been simple – give teachers access to a network of successful, local business owners.

These are a singularly inspirational group. We know that exposure to just four business leaders decreases by five-fold the propensity of a young person to ever become NEET, and we know from our own experience that 54% of the students who meet F4S role models end up choosing a STEM subject.  That is three times the national average.

The challenge that we still face may appear overwhelming. Student employability is more important than ever. There are 1.2 million job openings at the moment and nearly one million young people without a job and yet 70% of employers report that school leavers are not work-ready.  And the longer a young person is not in training, education or employment, the less likely they are to return to work:  this skills gap hurts more than just young people, costing the UK economy more £90 million each week in support costs and lost productivity.

That is about to change, radically. The partnership that we are announcing today with CEC means that, within 18 months,  the Founders4Schools platform will be taken to over 3,000 schools in England and will see our inspirational volunteer founders able to inspire an additional 1.5million youngsters (see press release here).

Partnering with CEC is a crucial step. CEC and the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) they work with have a vast network of co-ordinators and advisers who have the responsibility to help teachers navigate the bewildering array of external initiatives relating to careers advice and STEM education. CEC can now give teachers and advisors critical training so they can access business leaders in their local community with just a couple of key-strokes – for free.

This is going to have two major impacts:

  1. It will mean that thousands more schools can draw on the F4S community of leaders of successful growing businesses who are responsible for creating 100% of the net new jobs that these teenagers will soon be seeking.
  2. It will mean that we will be able to record the impact of our student employability programmes. The F4S service tracks the decisions on study options made by pupils and the results they get. This data will be priceless in helping us to understand what gets the best results for students and to share what doesn’t work.

Further to that, we will focus this training on England’s most needy areas so the ‘post-code’ lottery for youth employability will be stopped.  All young people in our school system deserve to be prepared for the world of work.

Another benefit from this news is that it represents a huge endorsement of evidence-based ed-tech charities. CEC have selected the best schemes across the country to partner with, so to have been given their backing is a compelling stamp of approval.

So over the next six months we expect to see things step up another gear or two.

If you are one of our volunteer business leaders, expect to be contacted by a teacher at a school near you.

And if you are a teacher please speak to your school’s CEC co-ordinator to find out how you can start using F4S.

There’s still a lot of work to do, and more exciting news to come.

Thanks so much, as always, for your continued support.

Sherry

The top 10 skills that will make your students successful in the digital economy

The gap between what skills students learn as opposed to need in their work life is a problem we all care about and want to eradicate.

Two reports published recently by the World Economic Forum identify 16 skills that students should develop to be successful in the evolving digital economy.

Along with the abilities to collaborate and communicate well (part of Social and Emotional Learning, or SEL), the top 10 skills needed by 2020 also include creative and critical thinking.

Both reports concur that the most important skill to master is problem solving.

So how do we teach these skills effectively?

Through a variety of learning strategies that foster emotional, social but also analytical and critical thinking.

Of course another resource you can use to help your students appreciate the importance of these skills is by bringing the very people who understand them into your classroom – business leaders can tell your students about the skills they are looking for in candidates and what they will very likely require in the near future.

Giovanna Newberry, KS5 Curriculum Manager at The Thomas Alleyne Academy for instance invited two business leaders, Shailen Rao and Tim Davis, to share with the students the skills that they are hiring for, tips on CV writing and interview techniques. She said about the event:

“All students were extremely inspired and it provided much food for thought. Students (and staff) particularly liked Shailen’s RPM acronym: we will all remember ‘Result, Purpose and My Action’ as it will always resonate and be applicable whatever pathway the students choose.
We also learnt about the exciting role of a ‘data architect,’ students did not realise that such a role existed and the importance of such practitioners in the workplace
.”

Meet the brilliant women who are driving the UK economy

In a global first, new analysis – based on open-government and LinkedIn data-sets – we are pleased to reveal the 735 Britain’s most inspiring women who are running growing businesses with more than 1 million in revenue. Our analysis shows that of these, 435 are growing by 20% and 271 are growing their businesses by 50% or more.

And the best thing – you can directly invite them to come into your classroom!

The fact that these 762 examples are available to inspire the next generation of girls about the impact they can have on the world is very exciting. We hope that this will empower you to connect with them, help inspire your students and further develop our home-grown talent – keeping Britain’s productivity thriving.



Many thanks to Niamh McGuinness from St Marks West Essex Catholic School and Shipra Malhotra from Townley Grammar School who celebrated International Women’s Day by inviting some of these inspiring female leaders to share their careers stories on success, learning from mistakes and how to drive the UK economy with their students.