Wayra and Workfinder unite to ignite a movement for change.

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At the start of London Tech Week (Monday, 10 June 2019), with the rain thundering down outside and a packed political agenda, we were thrilled that so many came to the launch of Wayra’s project at the House of Commons yesterday, to help emerging businesses get great talent by connecting students to the rising tech and start-up scene.

And we are delighted that Wayra has chosen Workfinder as the platform of choice to do that. Through the sheer power of Wayra, 100  of leaders in their network signed up in just 100 hours. Wow!

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From left to right: Charlie Blair, Daniel Lesnick, George Imafidon, Sherry Coutu, CBE, Tim Campbell, MBE, Vin Murria, CBE and Gary Stewart,   Managing Director of Wayra.

Wayra is a pioneering corporate accelerator at the heartbeat of the tech ecosystem. It is democratising entrepreneurship across the UK, by providing unparalleled access to networks and capital that turns      start-ups into scale-ups whilst ensuring their cohorts reflect true              diversity. We share those ambitions at Workfinder – we want to truly democratise work experience for young people; even in the 21st Century, nepotism is pushing out those most in need of a mentor to ignite their passion.

So, together, we are on a mission to help young people, particularly those furthest from the job market, to transition into the world of work.

The amazing Wayra community, in partnership with UEL, responded to our call for meaningful placements of 3-6 weeks, or even more, with ONE HUNDRED signing up within hours. By meaningful, we mean          placements where the undergraduate student learns through support on specific tasks and projects. To make it easy, Workfinder maps and      manages the placement from start to finish, helping leaders find talent and guiding on formats for projects that work well based on past experience.

Our Founder, Sherry Coutu, CBE said at the launch: “Our vision at Workfinder is that 100% of employees from the UK’s most ambitious companies host pre-career work placements for the next generation. The host employees get a great leadership opportunity and the young person can explore the future of their working world on their terms.

“We are thrilled to be working with Wayra on our mission to get 100% of young people 100 hours of work experience per year, that is 100% satisfactory.”

Also at the launch were a distinguished panel of entrepreneurs,              including the first-time winner of the Apprentice, Tim Campbell, who told their very personal stories of how in different ways they changed the course of their lives through hard work, focusing on what they love to do, and the support of a trusted mentor who helped them make it happen.

In her advice to business, Vin Murria, CBE, said: “Pass it forward. Think up three good things to show [these young people] a different path – something they wouldn’t see in their normal course of life.”

Gary Stewart, Managing Director of Wayra, added: “We are calling for less talk and more action when it comes to bringing under-represented groups into the UK’s tech ecosystem. Wayra will work with Workfinder and other partners to ignite a movement to bring equality of                opportunity to British tech.”

The launch was attended by many influential guests, including Helen Grant MP and Anne Milton MP. Anne Milton MP, Minister of State for Skills and Apprenticeships, highlighted the work the Government is doing for Apprenticeships and the central role that work experience will have for the new T Levels, which start next year. She highlighted the      vital role of business to make these initiatives successful.    

So, there’s more to do – and sign-ups are OPEN… so please do add your support!

Workfinder has been made possible through the support of partners and funding from the Social Tech Trust, whose vision is for social              transformation to drive tech.  The Trust explores the social issues where tech can transform lives, then invests in and partners with,                      organisations who can make that change happen. Further funding has been provided by Fidelity, WCIT and UFI Charitable Trust.    


Workfinder and Debate Mate unite to prove Work Experience is NOT a waste of time!

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At the London Tech Week Opening Dinner on Monday evening (10 June 2019), in the shadows of the historic Tower of London – built some six centuries before Babbage’s Analytical Engine – and in the presence of Tech pioneers, we were enthralled by the debating prowess of three rising stars who gave us a unique perspective on WHY WORK              EXPERIENCE MATTERS.


The London Tech Week Opening Dinner at the Tower of London, where funds were raised for this years’ nominated charity, Founders4Schools.  

And we were delighted to announce that Workfinder and Debate Mate have joined forces to help hundreds more young people across Britain by introducing them to the power of Workfinder, with further              collaborations planned.

Debate Mate was founded to overcome social immobility amongst young people aged 9-18, from disadvantaged backgrounds across Britain –    typically those attending challenging inner-city schools and living in areas of high child poverty. They run after-school debate clubs for        students, using their unique mentoring model, which helps develop key skills including critical and creative thinking, strategic teamwork, public speaking, active listening and leadership.

At Workfinder, we call these employability skills, and agree they are    critical to help a smoother transition into the world of work, especially for those living in more disadvantaged areas who don’t have parental networks to rely on. We understand that, even when given opportunity, without confidence it is impossible to make dreams fly.

Working with Debate Mate, we are on a mission to help young people    become well-rounded energised individuals with an interest in the world around them.  

To mark the announcement, Margaret McCabe, CEO & Founder,          Debate Mate said: “We are very excited to launch our partnership with Workfinder. As a social business, Debate Mate works with thousands of exceptional young people across the UK, as well as with the world’s most exciting and innovative companies.

“It’s great that we can combine and harness our experience of both and use the power of Workfinder to create meaningful opportunities that will revolutionise the way people view work experience for good.”

We saw this for ourselves on Monday evening when, in front of a crowd of several hundred, students Khadija Said and Adam Noble debated the thorny topic ‘Work Experience is a waste of time’ (at this point, we were nervous on several levels!).

Khadija argued that when it just involves menial tasks, work experience can have the undesired effect of de-motivating young people, perhaps even making them critical of your business in your local community! Adam countered with several good points, including that, experiences you don’t like can be good too because they help you understand what you DON’T want to do.

Ayman Ahmed then joined Sherry on the couch and talked about the various placements he has taken over the course of several week, and how it felt to become embedded in a business and really understand how they work.   

Workfinder Founder, Sherry Coutu, CBE added: “We are thrilled to be working with Debate Mate on our mission to get 100% of young people 100 hours of work experience per year, that is 100% satisfactory.

“I was hugely impressed by the articulate and confident way in which Khadija, Adam and Ayman made their arguments – and very pleased that we all agreed that Work Experience is valuable, but only if made meaningful. We couldn’t agree more!”

Workfinder has been made possible through the support of partners and funding from the Social Tech Trust, whose vision is for social            transformation to drive tech.  The Trust explores the social issues where tech can transform lives, then invests in and partners with,                     organisations who can make that change happen. Additional funding has been provided by Fidelity, WCIT and UFI Charitable Trust.    

Please sign up to offer Work Experience HERE


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How can we make Work Experience Fit for Purpose?

It was a lively debate in a packed room at the CBI last month as we launched the research, commissioned by Workfinder and written by    LKMco, about Work Experience. It’s a huge contribution to an important debate, which sets out brilliantly how work experience should be re-structured.

Workfinder set a challenge: What if we were all to work together to make it fit for purpose?   Boy, did the folks in the room rise to that challenge! 

It’s fixable. The sums add up. There are 7.2 million 16-24 year-olds in the UK and 17.5 million employees in businesses with more than 5 staff. As our esteemed guest The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of London, Peter Estlin pointed out, JUST THREE HOURS supporting work experience by each employee PER YEAR would give every young person 100 hours of experience in the workplace that could just change the course of their lives.

Here are our Top 3 take-outs from today:

1. We pour knowledge into young people but just as important is  the ability to apply that, to build character, to be creative…

As fellow panellist John Cope, CBI said so well, work experience is      crucial for young people but just as important to the economy because work experience in education is a driver for productivity, essential for growth and core to employability.

The other side of that is that social injustice is a tangible cost to both the young person and business as they try to find their feet. We need a solution that is accessible to all, not just those with social networks.  

Lola Bejide of the Soluman Consultancy added that young people often aren’t aware of what they want to do. What they don’t need is to come out of a placement saying ‘that’s a week of my life I won’t get back’ to everyone, damaging local business reputation in the process!

2. Together, we need to smash through the barriers that stop young     people  finding meaningful work experience in a variety of places…

Back to the challenge. What if we collaborated to make it easy for young people – especially those who live in rural areas or have special needs – to find what they love. The great news is that we already do (with the CBI, FSB and many more) but we have to supercharge it!

The report includes great examples from Ted Baker, Kidzania, Blippar and others. You will also find lots of case studies on our website Workfinder showcasing the practical ways companies are making the experience truly meaningful.  

But we have to be creative. I’m excited by innovative approaches by Wayra, Cambridge Launchpad and Barclays who act as collaborators in their local communities, gathering smaller businesses into the fold and offering rich and varied experiences for young people to explore.

3. How do we reduce the burden on teachers to make it happen…?

Especially at this time of year, we are mindful of the pressure on      teachers and leadership teams in schools.  

The report is clear that placements don’t have to be 1:1. In fact, it is preferable for young people to attend in small groups. It is also better to have placements take place over several weeks, rather than in blocks of 1-2 weeks, and spread out over the school year. This feels more manageable and employees can reach out to local schools to help.

We are all agreed that the Gatsby Benchmarks provide guidelines and measures we can all get behind. That’s why we build them into our recommendation engine at Workfinder, as we will the findings from this research.

At Workfinder, we are focused on the ways in which technology can provide solutions and disrupt the age-old methods that hold us back.

Putting Workfinder in the hands of young people is the best way we can think of to broker the ground between employers & educators and accelerate the change we need to make.

PLEASE read the research from Will Millard and the team at LKMco, which has been a year in development.

It’s easy – for business, for educators and for young people.

Read the research paper here 

Shaping Tomorrow’s City Today – The Lord Mayor’s Show 2018

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In 1215 King John’s disastrous reign was falling apart. His armies were retreating in France, he was completely broke and his Barons were on the edge of open revolt. Soon he would be forced to sign the Magna Carta, which he would go on ignoring until civil war finally broke out and he died of dysentery while marching from one besieged city to another.

During this time, London had been trying to organise itself into a ‘commune’: a sort of early city state that would be able to declare its borders, make agreements and defend itself. The King may have thought it was a clever move to go along with this, and in 1215 he issued a Royal Charter creating the commune and allowing the City to elect its own Mayor every year.

The King added a condition: every year the newly elected Mayor must leave the safety of the City, travel upriver to the small town of Westminster and swear loyalty to him. The Lord Mayor has now made that journey for over 800 years….bringing us up to 2018….

On the 10th November, Founders4Schools was invited to participate in the Lord Mayor’s Show to support this year’s theme Shaping Tomorrow’s City Today”. Given that our mission is to improve youth employability by connecting the youth with tomorrow’s workplace, we were proud to be given a home in the Engagement Zone in the Bloomberg building to interact with the festive audience.

In the spirit of the theme we created 20 STEM-oriented future career cards that young people could choose from. These careers are tipped to become some of the popular jobs in the near future and we wanted to see how families would react to them. Not surprisingly, young people gravitated to the careers seeming to already recognise most of them, with Space Pilot and Future Farmer being the most favoured.


The cards also included on the back the description of the future jobs and what school subjects and activities they could do to navigate themselves towards these future roles. For a bit of extra fun, we asked them to pose into our branded Instagram frame which also roamed around the show capturing a few surprise shots along the way!


It was a wonderful day, blessed with sunshine for most of the day. Audiences marveled at the world’s oldest, longest and most splendid civic procession: an hour and a half of old London pomp and pageantry leading up to the newly restored State Coach.

We wish to thank the 691st Lord Mayor, Peter Estlin for his support and kind invitation for Founders4Schools to join the show, Bloomberg for helping us prepare for the show and making us feel welcomed, the F4S staff that joined us on on the weekend and the wonderful families that took the time to engage us on the day.


Bringing LifeSkills to More Young People Through Workfinder

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Founders4Schools, an EdTech charity are pleased to be launching their WorkFinder app which will allow young people to access placements with businesses. As part of the experience of using WorkFinder young people will be signposted to a series of resources provided by LifeSkills, created with Barclays. LifeSkills is a programme that aims to give young people aged 11-24 years old access to skills and experiences designed to prepare them for the future world of work.

Sherry Coutu, CBE, Executive Chair of Founders4Schools, said, “It’s a daunting prospect for a 16-18 year old to go into a work environment for the first time and I’m delighted we are able to give them support and reassurance on that journey. How else will young people know what shape their careers could take and how else can we ensure businesses have the skills they need to grow and prosper in the challenging future we face? It really does take a village to raise a child.”

Ashok Vaswani, CEO, Barclays UK, states: “We welcome the Founders4Schools initiative to drive more work experience opportunities across the UK for young people. Our experience from running the LifeSkills programme shows us that young people need a practical insight into the world of work which is vital for the workforce of tomorrow to gain the confidence and valuable skills needed by employers both today and in the future. We know the more interventions that a young person has with employers at an early age, the more likely they are to succeed in their careers.”

Work experience offers young people valuable insights into the world of work, the ‘softer’ skills they need to pick up and help understanding their future options. Workfinder helps them take control and connect directly with employers, removing the need for reliance on family networks to connect to opportunities.

Making it easier for educators to provide useful careers programmes for young people

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This week (4th July) F4S welcomed an independence day of a different kind, as we announced a major collaboration with The Careers & Enterprise Company to make it easier for educators to provide useful careers programmes for young people.

School leadership teams will be looking forward to the summer break more than ever, to enjoy the sunny weather and as respite from a very challenging year that meant balancing new curriculums, exam grading structures and much more.

‘Much more’ included the requirement, set out in the Government’s Careers Strategy, to appoint a dedicated careers lead and publish their local strategy on the school website by September 2018, shortly after the new term begins.

I believe the Government is right to raise standards on careers provision in schools and push for more focus, especially for England where it has been lacking for some time. I am also a supporter of increasing powers to The Careers & Enterprise Company, and organisation I helped to establish at the same time I was helping LinkedIn to scale up across markets, to make that happen.

It’s never been more important to help young people prepare for the world of work, so I welcome the opening up of collaborations that make this easier for educators, like the one we announced at the Annual Careers & Enterprise Company’s conference this week. [announcement here].

The great thing about this collaboration is that we sent one of our engineers to set up an Application Programming Interface (API) between our free-to-use platform and The Careers and Enterprise Company’s Tracker tool. This means that the thousands of educators who use our service don’t have to double report – everything they do on Founders4Schools and Workfinder platforms will show up on the CEC tracker automatically.

We also update our recommendations engine so that the guidance we give to educators is even more relevant to them in their school, and reflects other encounters that are taking place on other providers’ platforms. It’s like a guidance system to move them through the Gatsby benchmarks to great careers provision!

I have founded, invested and supported some amazing businesses during my career, and am passionate about technology solutions like this. Whether in the recruitment marketplace at LinkedIn or the housing market with Zoopla, applying technology to connect, collaborate and disrupt is what makes a step change happen. We are on the edge of a transformation for education, and I want to agitate like crazy to help teachers help young people to transition beyond school life in brilliant ways by connecting with business.

As Executive Chair for Founders4schools and Workfinder – two charities dedicated to eradicating the skills gap which is plaguing the competitive advantage of the UK and impacting future productivity – I am proud that to date we have helped educators to connect more than 130,000 young people with business leader volunteers – in more than 370,000 student employer encounters, and that our services are used by educators in every LEP and more than 300 Local Authorities.

So, how did this partnership develop? There were a number of stages:

  1. Research: We identified Cold Spots and pulled together research to find out which areas needed most focus.
  2. We created the BIGRI index, which classified the businesses from which we have volunteers according to their size, growth and location.
  3. Mapping – we then knew which areas could struggle to achieve our target 4 student-employer encounters per student*. This inspired us to introduce Student-Employee Encounters per 1,000 in our Local Authority reporting.
  4. Data – we introduced reporting to show at Local Authority, LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership), constituency and business level, the number of Student-Employer Encounters per 1000.
  5. We introduced Co-ordinator reports, for them to track which schools were achieving their Student-Employer Encounters targets.
  6. We then incorporated research from The Careers and Enterprise Company and collated that to improve the guidance we give to educators and specifically those encounters that make a contribution to achievement of GATSBY benchmarks.

*Four Student-Employer Encounters per student is crucial because research has shown this reduces the likelihood of young people becoming NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) by 86%.

I am completely aligned with The Careers and Enterprise Company in the focus on GATSBY benchmarks to create milestones for connected careers provision that truly makes a difference to student outcomes. We are now embedding Enabling Enterprise’s framework into the personalised recommendations educators receive when they subscribe to F4S learning platform.

We were delighted to announce this collaboration this week. It means that the thousands of educators who use our service don’t have to double report – everything they do on Founders4Schools and Workfinder platforms can be reported to and show up on Tracker – without the educator needing to lift a finger.

I’m sure that will be very welcome come September.


To talk about MORE COLLABORATIONS LIKE THIS, contact me on sherry.coutu@founders4schools.org.uk

The Careers & Enterprise Company and Founders4Schools join forces to simplify careers provision for schools

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The Careers & Enterprise Company and Founders4Schools join forces to simplify careers provision for schools

(London, Wednesday 4 July 2018): The Careers & Enterprise Company, established to provide high impact careers support to young people, and award-winning GovTech charity Founders4Schools (F4S) have joined forces in a pilot project to help schools using both services benefit from employer engagement more easily. F4S Founder and Chairman Sherry Coutu CBE delivered a talk at the event transcribed below:


I’m Sherry Coutu – an economist turned computer programmer turned entrepreneur, investor, mother and philanthropist.  I am chair of Founders4schools and Workfinder, which are two charities dedicated to eradicating the skills gap which is plaguing the competitive advantage of the UK and elsewhere.

To date, we have helped educators to connect more than  130,000 young people our volunteers – in more than 370,000 student employer encounters, and our services are used by educators in every LEP and more than 300 Local Authorities.  We use technology common in other industries to benefit educators and students here- our learning platform gives any educator who uses our services a ‘GATSBY GPS system’ so they know how to help their students the most.

We are a charity that was founded before CEC existed, but instead of being crowded out by them, we, and the educators, career leaders who use our services have benefited.

I go back a long time on collaboration, in fact, my thesis at Harvard Business school in 1993 was on strategic alliances in high tech firms.  Ever since then, I’ve practiced collaboration and forged strategic alliances and so was very pleased to be asked to talk about the deepening of our collaboration today by Claudia.

I thought I might go back to when I first was speaking to Lord Young about his idea to form CEC and passport – this was several years back when I as an advisor to LinkedIn, helping them roll out across nations, but in particular, helping introduce their API to the developer community in London.


I was a big advocate of CEC being formed and was pleased when then appointed


And I was pleased when I first spoke with Christine and very much on her mind was getting the Chief Executive appointed.

EXECUTION – enter Claudia Harris, freshly poached from Mckinsey, here to lead

What follows is the story of how our partnership developed.

First Research:   Cold Spots – this was really helpful at pulling together all the research to find out which areas needed the most focus.

→ this inspired me to devise the BIGRI index, which classified the businesses we have volunteers from according to their size, growth and location – so e could map the cold-spots in the UK so we could see where it might be hardest to achieve our 4 student-employer encounters per student.

→ in inspired us to introduce Student-Employer Encounters per 1000 in our local authority reporting

First Funding:  

We introduced LEP reporting, to supplement our constituency and local authority reporting.

We introduced Coordinator reports so that the coordinators could keep track of which schools were achieving their Student Employer Encounters

Research they commissioned & collated on quality of encounters-

  • Inspired us to improve the guidance we gave to educators who used our services and to
  • introduce guidance as to which of the encounters that were available over our services made a contribution to which of the GATSBY benchmarks.

Their introduction to us of Enabling Enterprise spawned that partnership, and we now embed Enabling Enterprise’s framework into the personalised recommendations educators receive when they subscribe to our free learning platform.

Today I’m really pleased to finally be announcing an integration with Tracker, having worked with their team and given them one of my engineers to get their API up and running – just as I used to do for Linkedin 6-7 years ago.  The reason I am so excited about this is it means that the thousands of educators who use our service don’t have to double-report – everything they do on Founders4Schools and Workfinder platforms, can be reported to CEC and show up on the CEC tracker – without the educator needing to lift a finger.

Furthermore, assuming we are given permission by the educator to know where they currently stand on GATSBY, we can update our recommendation engine so that the guidance we give to educators also reflects other encounters that are taking place on other providers platforms

O-Auth transformed a fragmented tech industry some time ago in SV – its nice to see these lessons applied in the UK – our children and grand-children deserve the best, and our educators need all the tools and training in their tools to do the job that only they can do – freeing them of admin hassle is excellent and giving them the worlds’ best guidance whenever the need it (because they are not experts) is a must.  A pleasure to be here with you today – can’t wait to see what we do together in the coming three years –

Let’s move the dots now that they are joined up….

CEC & F4S Tracker Intergration Demo Video

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5th International Conference on Employer Engagement in Education and Training

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With just a week to go before the 5th International Conference on Employer Engagement in Education and Training, I have been reflecting on the urgent need to Equip the future workforce with the skills to enable them to work with, not compete with, technology solutions in the jobs market.   

That’s why I’m delighted to be presenting at the Education and Employers conference (taking place in London on 5 & 6 July) when we will be debating employer engagement and training relative to skills in the context of social mobility, the fourth industrial revolution and the future of the youth labour market.

I want you to engage in this debate NOW.

The Industrial Strategy White Paper, launched on 27 November 2017, presents the UK with an opportunity for purposeful growth backed by significant investment. Couple this with the challenges facing the implementation of new T Levels and the likely shortfalls in the number of apprenticeships, we must build alliances across Government, business and social enterprise urgently.

That’s why we are working in partnership with enterprises like Barclays, The Prince’s Trust and Rolls Royce through the Inclusive Economy Partnership (IEP) and elsewhere.

Founders4Schools celebrated its 3rd birthday as a charity earlier this month. The work of Education and Employers has guided us along the way. Research in 2017 by Professor Anthony Mann et. al. found that just four encounters with business leaders render a child 86% less likely to become NEET (not in employment, education or training) beyond school-age years.

We are an GovTech charity dedicated to improving the life chances of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who lack access to professional role models, by connecting them to business leaders.

This focus has meant that 94% of students who have met business leaders via F4S tell us they are inspired, and their teachers report they are three times more likely to go on to consider studying a STEM subject.

Business leaders are amazing because they encourage students, particularly girls, to get interested in STEM subjects, help them understand local jobs markets, and enable personalised guidance towards 140 hours of work experience. Our extensive range of services focus on those places where young people are likely to receive free school meals and can’t rely on parental networks to make the right connections.

So, I am excited to be presenting alongside Professor Mann on Day Two of the conference.

During my talk I will focus on the Government’s Industrial Strategy and its potential to form partnerships between education and business.

I will show how F4S uses data feeds from the government and commercial services like LinkedIn and Duedil, as well as AI and machine learning to give personalised advice and guidance to teachers which maps to all the Gatsby benchmarks and allows them to progress through all these in record time.

I will demonstrate how these same principles underlie the personalised recommendations given to students from disadvantaged backgrounds when they use Workfinder. Workfinder is our app which enables young people to access 140 hours of varied and meaningful work experience by the time they are 18 years of age.

I will show how, with the aid of AI enhanced technologies like F4S and Workfinder, robots are actually creating employable people rather than ‘eating their jobs’.

Finally, I will bring to life real experiences of how we have made a difference in communities. For example, Stirling Council was faced with accelerating changes to the local labour market. By talking directly to head teachers, within weeks 90% of students in the local authority had met at least 1 employer in their classrooms. The Council is now recommending Workfinder, targeted at students who can’t rely on parents’ networks to help.

There’s so much to discuss. Please come along and join in the conversation.

The 5th International Conference on Employer Engagement in Education and Training, 2018, will be held on 5th and 6th July, at The BEIS Conference Centre, London Westminster. You can purchase tickets Here.

F4S is accepted onto NESTA’s Inclusive Economy Partnership (IEP) fund

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We recently applied for NESTA’s Inclusive Economy Partnership (IEP) fund and are happy to announce that we were accepted. The programme brings together business, civil society and government to help address major societal challenges facing those on low to middle incomes. One of the challenges we seek to tackle through the programme is Transition to Work: Moving young people from education, unemployment or inactivity into jobs. We thank NESTA for the opportunity and look forward to working with you.

New Service Features Update

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April 11th 2018

It has been a busy few months at Founders4Schools with a swag of new service features being added to both our original service to book business leaders into schools and Workfinder; our latest service to connect young people 16-24 years with fast growing companies. The following outline those recent updates. We wish to thank our team, funding partners, educators, business leaders, young people and those that advise us for helping us evolve and constantly improve our service.

New Diaries Function

The diary function was introduced in direct response to feedback schools across the country. Students often carry out work experience one afternoon a week, rather than in ‘blocks’ of consecutive weeks. This allows for greater flexibility for schools, young people and the businesses when booking placements. We have therefore built this into Workfinder so young people can now specify one morning, afternoon or full days a week that they would be available for work experience, as well as being able to choose a full time block.The feature update is still in development and we’ll keep you posted to it’s release date.

A huge thank you to Keith Staines and Stuart McInnes for leading on this feature update.

Workfinder WEP provider redirect link

To improve workfinder’s user experience we integrated an automatic redirect to our companies and partners websites that have established onboarding processes. It was a request that came from our business community to help them assess applicants and we are proud to say that it will increase the turnaround time and success rate for placement opportunities, benefitting both applicants and businesses with their own processes. It is currently live as of March 16th 2018.

We wish to thank Andrew Miller for bringing this feature update to life!

CV upload function

Recent focus groups with students and feedback from business leaders brought to our attention the need for a CV upload function. Currently, we provide an easy to use cover letter builder. Students wanted to provide more defining information about their unique experiences and business leaders also wanted the opportunity to learn more about applicants during the applications process. Now, when a student applies they can simply add/upload their cv with their cover letter.

The feature is currently live as of the 14th March and we welcome more feedback from users to how to further improve the application process.

A big shout out to those working on this feature update: Jake Lopez, Stuart McInnes, Keith Staines and Andrew Miller.

Teacher Dashboard

In a collaborative project with UFI and Nominet Trust we are developing a significant feature set upgrade for teachers. The Teacher Dashboard empowers teachers to request work experience placement vouchers and assign it to their students so they can monitor the progress of their pupils applying for work experience. Although very easy to use and reduces the admin time teachers, it serves as a powerful tool to help all of their pupils prepare for the world of work equally. The dashboard is planned to launch early April 2018.

This significant update will be brought to you by our fearless team members: Jake Lopez, Stuart McInnes, Alice Oakley and Bruno Alla.

Villiers Park

The Villiers Park INVOLVE initiative has been designed to enhance everyday classroom learning by empowering students to lead on enriching the learning communities in their schools and colleges. Students benefit through gaining key academic and personal skills which are recognised through an Award system.

Founders4Schools have partnered with Villiers Park to offer a unique, one-of-a-kind INVOLVE project. Through this project, students are able to design their own inspiring career event in their school and invite local business leaders to take part through the F4S portal.

We have built a unique student-friendly journey, in cooperation with Villiers Park and taking into account the safeguarding and protection of these students. Students are able to design, organise and drive the event, thus building their leadership abilities, confidence and transferable skills. We anticipate it going live at the end of March 2018.

We wish to give a big thanks to Bruno Alla and Alice Oakley for working on this project.


Improved Matching of Companies

We are constantly working to make the lives of our Business Leaders easier by automatically understanding which company they work for based on their Linkedin profile when they sign up with us. Recently we have cleaned up some code and more importantly patched a logic step where parent companies were not considered for our success criteria. Since adding parent companies to the success criteria and fixes, almost 900 new Business Leaders are available for educators to invite into the classroom.

We wish to recognition the swift and handy dev work of Stephanie Crampin and Bruno Alla for implementing this important update.