Business leader newsletter January 2017

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As a fellow business leader, it is a pleasure to highlight some of the great work that we’ve been up to at Founders4Schools and to celebrate the collective efforts of our ecosystem, working together to address the employability of young people throughout the UK.

With your help, we’ve now facilitated just under 50,000 students experiencing 130,000 student-employer encounters.  Every hour you spend in a classroom or hosting a workplace visit or hosting a student on work experience makes such a huge difference, especially since it is so hard to hire people with the right skills set!

Special thanks in particular to Founders Forum, Silicon Valley Comes to the UK,, Local Globe, Tech London Advocates and KPMG for encouraging your members and employees to generously give their time to teachers when they ask.

These encounters, as you know, are the most powerful levers known to cause a student to study subjects like Data Science, which makes them like gold-dust to us. No one can tell us what subject to study, but it’s amazing what your enthusiasm for your chosen path can do for a student’s motivation, especially if neither of their parents work. Please keep saying yes when asked!  Please also refer other business leaders to us - we need more up and down the country!


Launch of Workfinder, the work experience service

 I was delighted to announce the launch of our first B2C product Workfinder at BETT 2017 last week.  This work experience service helps students in pilot schools in London, Cambridge and Manchester find work placements at Britain’s best companies in a few taps of their mobile device. Most students find work experience through their parents, putting those who are from deprived backgrounds at a disadvantage. So we’re levelling the playing field.  We will pilot Workfinder at our ‘frequent flyer schools’ and roll it out nationally as soon as we can.  If you are willing to offer work experience placements to children to give them their first taste of work, please signup below: 

I’d like to offer work placements

 Many of you will know that we’ve been working on this intensively for the past two years (since August 2014) and it is the product of hundreds of consultations with business leaders, students, teachers, career coordinators and business leaders like yourself.  We are hugely grateful to the time, money and brains who helped us get here – special mentions go to the  Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, Hugh Campbell from GP Bullhound and the Camden and Cambridge teacher, student and business communities.  

 Other partner organisations we are looking forward to working collaboratively with on this include the Federation of Small Business, CBI, TeachFirst, Prince’s Trust, Young Enterprise, Form the Future, Transformation Trust, WorldSkills UK, and Villiers Park Educational Trust to help introduce us to schools within their networks throughout the UK.

Lastly, a big thank you is extended to those who came to BETT 2017 on 25th January and supported the launch of Workfinder. An extra special acknowledgement to Adobe for hosting us at their booth and allowing us to provide a demo to guests.

Training Workshops

 On 14th December, TeachFirst hosted a workshop in the Isle of Wight, inviting local teachers to learn more about Founders4Schools services. It is always a pleasure to work closely with TeachFirst to provide teacher training.  The event was made possible due to Barclay’s generosity in opening its doors to host the event in Newport.

On 6th December, North East LEP invited us to meet with local business leaders and educators to discuss ways to address the Scale-Up gap and the Skills gap, both of which impact the future growth in the UK. There was an enthusiastic response and I can’t wait to tell you what they are planning in May!  It’s huge!

We’ve also been to Teesside University to join an active community of business leaders and business support representatives to discuss the challenges of scaling businesses in the region, and in turn increase youth employability.

Invite a teacher you know to our free training webinars if you like – we’ll have your classroom brimming with job-creators in no time ;-)

You can also mention to teachers you know that they can sign-up for our free training webinars, please visit:

Thank you to the Careers and Enterprise Company for making these possible.

Scottish skills and scaleups

With the support of Sir Tom Hunter and the Hunter Foundation, Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and Developing Young Workforce (DYW) with the Scottish Government, teachers in Scotland will now have access to a white-label version of Founders4Schools platform through the My World of Work portal.  Watch this space – and if you know scottish business leaders, please encourage them to say yes when asked!

Our Frequent flier ‘shout-outs’…

Congratulations to teachers in Buckinghamshire Thames Valley LEP, Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, and Oxfordshire LEP who have been clicking up a storm of student-employer encounters for their students in the past three months!  We look forward to hearing how they go!

Congratulations to Dorset, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Thames Valley with the highest average Student-Employer Encounters per Teacher in the last three months – an inspiration to teachers everywhere to know that your students are meeting more employers than most!

Click HERE to see how teachers in your city are doing – feel free to mention founders4schools to your child’s teacher next time you see them!

We also remain grateful to our Corporate Partners whose generosity has given us the foundations upon which we rest.  Special shout-outs to Linkedin, DueDil, PCA Predict, Korn Ferry, Odgers Berndtson, Olswang, City University London and Goldman Sachs.  We could not do this without you.

Yours sincerely,

Sherry Coutu CBE

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