Businesses are putting their support behind inspiring the future leaders of industry in the Future Generations programme.
The programme puts Invest St Helens Ambassadors at the heart of the community working with schools and young people on projects linking businesses with future employees and encouraging industry leaders to act as mentors for young people in St Helens Borough.
Speaking about the project ambassador Mark Bosworth, of Bosworth Consultancy, said: “As a father to three daughters brought up and educated in St Helens, I also want them to find challenging and rewarding careers for them in the borough. Employers need to take every opportunity to show young people like my own what opportunities are available right here on the doorstep and to give them clarity on the employability skills they’re looking for.
“I’ve seen it done well, and when it is, it creates a spark that can have huge impact. Schools often struggle to get employer engagement and employers also struggle to get through the school gate. If the Ambassador programme can address this, I really do think we can transform the town’s prosperity with home-grown talent.”
Through Invest St Helens Ambassadors the Future Generations programme aims to raise aspirations and ambitions, link businesses together, link young people to the future industries and technologies that will make them skilled for future economy needs and create a positive perception of St Helens Borough.
Building the links between businesses and young people has seen 36 schools and two colleges sign up to become ambassadors too.
Mike Hill, Principal at Carmel College added: “The Ambassador programme provides a great opportunity for business and education leaders to jointly work together in further developing the profile and expertise in the town, especially around the vision of creating a sustainable and buoyant economy for the workers of the future.
“It provides a forum for both sectors to discuss and agree on the skills and experience the next generation need to develop in order to be able to access the jobs of the future. As an outstanding college we take our role in promoting and celebrating all that’s good about St Helens very seriously and the Ambassador scheme is the perfect platform for this.”
And those schools have benefitted from events like Believe and Achieve which saw school children hear inspirational speeches from business leaders and last Thursday there was an Inspiring Women in Business event at Saints’ Totally Wicked Stadium which brought schools together to hear about diversity in the business community.
Invest St Helens Ambassador Charles Nevin said: “As St Helens builds on its great sense of community to ensure a better future for the town, it’s vital to forge strong links between business and industry and our schools. This programme involving School and Business ambassadors will spark and foster the creativity and energy and ambition in our young people that has been such a tradition in our town and has kept St Helens at the forefront of innovation and industry for the past 150 years.”
The support continues from businesses not just in raising aspirations but also supporting children St Helens Council looks after like bringing together support for Christmas hampers for these children and backing the first children’s celebration event with awards for inspirational young people and adults who have made a difference for children St Helens Council looks after.
And the business leaders for St Helens Borough are adding their support to this hugely important scheme.
Eamonn McManus, chairman of the St Helens Economy Board, said: “It is imperative that we prepare the next generation for the future economy. The partnership of business and school ambassadors is raising aspirations, ambition and linking our young people to future careers.”