Barclays Digital Development Index Report

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Our world is changing. The digital revolution is affecting us all, at home and at work. It offers new opportunities and greater choice, but is also disrupting the way we live our lives.

We want Britain to thrive in the digital economy. And we want to help British businesses to compete in the global marketplace. In response to this Barclays have produced this research which aims to understand how well prepared the UK workforce is for the digital economy.

Based on a survey of 10,000 working adults in 10 countries, it provides an international comparison of current levels of digital skills and confidence in emerging and developed economies, including some major economic rivals to the UK as well as new ‘Digital Tigers’ Estonia, South Korea and Sweden. The full report From Inclusion to Empowerment: The Barclays Digital Development Index includes insights and commentary from a range of leading experts and explores the steps needed to develop digital skills and confidence further across the UK.


Founders4Schools Annual Review 2016-2017

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The past year has been one of both consolidation and growth for Founders4Schools. Our services, which make it easy for educators to arrange encounters between their students and local business leaders, are becoming embedded into the lives of schools and young people.

Founders4Schools has now enabled over 80,000 young people to meet business leaders from their local communities, helping these young people better understand the world they will enter when they are older, and the jobs they might hold or create in the future. We now provide over twenty types of career or enterprise encounters and I’m pleased to have seen such strong take up of a growing range of new encounter types by our customers.

At the beginning of 2017, we announced that we would extend our encounters to help young people on the next step of their journey into work with the pilot of a work experience platform for those young people aged 16 to 24. This new service is called Workfinder which enables young people to obtain work experience placements with small and medium sized businesses in particular. I am hugely excited about the transformative effect this service could have for young people, making work experience about their hopes and ambitions, rather than family business connections.

Our strategy has always been to prioritise our resources to where they are most needed. Reaching young people in the Government’s 12 Opportunity Areas has been core to our activities, and the team and I have enjoyed visiting each of the opportunity areas over the past year.

We were approached by the Hunter Foundation and invited to expand our services into Scotland. It has been a joy working with the Scottish Government and seven Local Authorities in the past year, especially as the results are so pleasing in terms of the number of students now getting four high impact student-employer encounters.

The achievements of Founders4Schools rely on the involvement, enthusiasm and dedication of many people in our society. I want to thank: the educators who have embraced our services to enhance the life prospects of their students; the business leaders who have so generously given up their time to inspire and motivate young people; our Trustees and Advisors, whose support and guidance plays a huge part in the charity’s success; and the many individuals and grant making bodies who have helped to fund the services. Finally, I would like to thank Founders4Schools’ dedicated team of staff, who share my vision in making a fundamental difference to the career chances of young people.

2017-annual-review-thumbnail Download the 2017 Founders4Schools Annual Review

Now you can book 30 students for workplace visits

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Special thanks to two primary school teachers Harriet at Rhyl Primary School and Rosemary O’Brien at Torriano Primary School in Camden who got in touch to see if they could book workplace visits for groups of 30 students, rather than just 10.

The short answer is “yes”!

We’ve added a special new type of workplace visit just foryou.  Now, primary school teachers in Camden (and everywhere) can pull down a fourth type of event “Wpv30″ rather than Wpv10″, choose who you want to visit and voila, we do the rest for you.

Don’t worry if you are addicted to the WPV 10, a favourite of secondary school teachers helping students decide between academic subjects at Uni- so we’re not taking that away.

We are excited to help out primary school teachers of year 6 students with discovery visits as well.

Thank you again for letting us know how best to help you, we are here to help.

Bravo again to Harriet and Rosemary. Let us know how your visits go.

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F4S named Investor Allstars 2016 Charity of the Year

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Founders4Schools is honored to have been named as Charity of the Year at the Investor Allstars Awards 2016.

The charity was co-created by teachers, parents and the business leaders to solve the problem of youth employability.

The problem was articulated in The Economist, 23 Jan 2016 “1 Billion young people will start work in the next decade – only 40% in jobs that now exist”.  

F4S is delighted to have been recognised by the investment community for our mission is to improve the life chances of students by giving them access to inspiring business leaders in their own community who help them discover the skills and pathways that will be relevant when they leave education. This is especially crucial for children in homes where parents and guardians do not have work. 

Our nationwide service is free to schools and helps teachers to connect with 14,000 leaders of successful, growing businesses to invite them to visit their schools and inspire their students.

F4S is proud to have facilitated over 100,000 student-employer encounters which 94% of students said were inspiring to the point they would want another similar opportunity. 

With the kind support of donors it our aim to reach 1 million young people in the next year.

Foundeer4Schools Executive Chair, Sherry Coutu CBE, spoke at the Awards ceremony about the importance of extending insight about the world of work to all young people. Read her slides.



Founders4Schools first annual review published

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One year on, what have we achieved?

Click on the image to read the full Annual Review

Our first Annual Review sets out what we have achieved during our first year of operation. It describes how the charity is starting to ‘join the dots’ across the country by bringing together schools and colleges, employers and providers of careers and enterprise activities to give young people a better introduction to the world of work and a clearer understanding of what their future might hold.

Their enthusiastic response has meant that schools and colleges throughout the UK that will benefit from the 13,000 business leaders available to them so that young people in the UK are given a better sense of their skills and attitudes and help them identify the best path towards their future career.

The network of inspiring business volunteers across the country has continued to broaden over the past year, allowing the number of student-employer encounters facilitated by Founders4Schools to pass the 100,000 – an achievement that we believe is truly worth celebrating.

Although this review is a celebration of achievements from our first year of operation as a charity, it is also an opportunity to thank all our supporters, teachers, business leaders and partners who form the integral pieces that, together, will solve the puzzle of youth employability. It is their support that has enabled Founders4Schools to be a leader in the global movement to inspire today’s youth for tomorrow’s world of work.

Looking ahead to next year, I hope to increase the number of student-employer encounters from last year by tenfold. With foundations firmly laid, a focused and talented team on board, and having secured sponsorship from both Barclays and the Careers & Enterprise Company, I’m confident we’ll get there.

Read the Annual Review 

Raspberry Pi and the Importance of Technology Education

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This month the BBC announced that Raspberry Pi Sales reached 10 million in the British market. Raspberry Pi is a small, portable microcomputer widely used for programming education. Its low cost and portability have made it the most successful selling British Computer ever. Whereas before learning skills such as programming required relatively expensive hardware, now you can get a full kit for as low as low as 99 pounds.

This example highlights the importance of access to learning. Now students can learn skills as valuable as programming for a fraction of the cost. However, we need to raise awareness so that students can be introduced to these tools and taught how to use them. The Founders4Schools platform has a useful filter to select specifically inspirational business leaders in your area in industries including science, technology, and computing.

If you are a teacher who wishes to find a way to inspire pupils to use tools such as Raspberry pi to begin a path in technology, why not try bringing a business leader who can talk to them about the first steps in computing?

Given the importance of STEM skills in the years to come, initiatives such as Raspberry Pi and Founders4Schools can be very helpful to motivate students to follow this path. Founders4Schools believes that all students have the ability to learn and succeed, and the motivation of learning from business leaders can help do so.

9 ways to make Education fit for the 21st Century

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Bildschirmfoto 2016-09-23 um 12.55.12The world that children will find when they join the workforce will be very different from ours today – in fact, 40% of the jobs that they will aspire to have not been created yet! Education is the key to preparing students for the world of work, and a recent WEF article highlights 9 ways we can transform our system.

  • Provide a compelling vision of the future
  • Set ambitious goals that force innovation
  • Create choice and competition
  • Pick many winners
  • Benchmark and track progress
  • Evaluate and share the performance of new innovations
  • Pair greater accountability with autonomy
  • Invest in and empower agents of change
  • Reward success and productive failure

Founders4Schools can help prepare students for the future, today! By inviting local business leaders to your school, students will be able to hear from employers themselves and find out which skill sets to build the careers of the future.

Why wait till World Teachers day, Oct 5? We want to thank you today!

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A huge thank you to all the teachers inspired to raise students’ employability. We are especially proud that you have helped us to facilitate 103,326 student-employer encounters, and introduce business leaders to communicate with students about the jobs they have or skills they are hiring for.

Together, we can inspire even more young people and help them make connections about how their learning now shapes what they can do in their future careers. It takes just 5 minutes to create a Role Model event (which inspires 94% of students!)

Celebrate World Teacher’s Day on the 5th of October – we’d love to hear what you are doing!

Does ‘careers’ have kudos in your school?

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A recent TeachFirst article highlighted that only 8% of schools have a systematic approach to integrating careers into the curriculum. As a consequence, many young people never get in contact with the world of work during their school time, which could have far-reaching consequences for their careers: a House of Lords social mobility committee found that young people who lack information from business leaders as well as work experience are significantly more likely to become NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training).

Founders4Schools’ free service supports schools in providing these crucial links for students with local business leaders, in a way that is quick and easy for teachers to organise.

Even if your school doesn’t have a dedicated careers leader, our Role Model events, Careers Fairs and Workplace Visits let teachers simply arrange engagement with local business leaders to share career stories with students.

It takes just 5 minutes to create an event and start to inspire your students about their future careers. You can use curriculum filters to choose leaders with specific subject backgrounds to help students relate what they are learning in class to the real world of work.


A-level Results Day 2016: Record Number of Students Accepted to University

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Congratulations! A record number of A-level students – 426,000 – have attained a place at University. These results are fantastic as higher education enables students to expand their knowledge and skills, and can also lead to better job prospects. However, many students may still not know what career path to follow.

Founders4Schools helps students discover what opportunities they have by bringing 4 inspiring business leaders into schools to each talk about their career path and school journey. We found that 96% of students leave our role model events feeling inspired, particularly to do well in their studies. Never has it been this simple to motivate young people – In just 5 minutes teachers can book an event and spark the brains of the next generation.