Business & Education Together Foundation

The Business and Education Together Foundation work with children and young people, providing support and teaching to assist them in developing their skills, capabilities and employability. Their aim is to enable them to better participate in society as mature, ambitious and qualified individuals. They currently have one part-time member of staff who is supported by 18 volunteers and the trustees. They work within South Yorkshire alongside schools and employers to try and improve the futures of local students, some of whom have learning/behavioural issues, low attainment or are involved with the criminal justice system.

B&E work with schools and students to assign them to a work placement that will be the most useful to each person, these can be work experience, training courses or volunteer roles. To offer a wide range of opportunities for placement, they utilise partnerships with nearly 7,000 businesses across South Yorkshire.

B&E received a grant of £3,750 from the Cutler’s Company Grassroots Endowment Fund to enable them to continue their work. The funding has been used to set up work experience placements for students at Stone Hill School and North Ridge Community School in the Dearne Valley, as a part of their One2One scheme. Through their work with Stone Hill School, B&E established placements for 27 students across 17 different businesses. Whilst for North Ridge Community School, 8 students were matched to work placements within 7 unique businesses.

The students worked with their chosen businesses for two weeks and were asked to formally evaluate the work they were doing and the roles and responsibilities they undertook as part of this process, to aid in their development and learning.

The Foundation team work to keep students as involved as possible throughout the process, particularly in deciding upon the specific sector/industry in which they wish to undertake their placement. This is essential, as B&E know that work experience has a large impact on a student’s decision making about their potential future career.
B&E also send evaluations to businesses after student placements to see if the process could be improved and to find out how the student managed their placement. This feedback increases what the student gains from their placement and experience.

B&E have received positive feedback from most of the students, schools and businesses involved, with a number of businesses returning to try and get student placements again in the future.

“Polite, cheerful and willing to be helpful. A pleasure to have her with us.”
– Feedback from Theatre group on their student

Beryl Henshaw, Charity Correspondent at Business & Education Together Foundation said:
“In the future we would like to further expand the number of annual placements we facilitate for students, currently, we manage between 3,000 and 4,000 placements a year. We would also like to utilise funding to develop special needs schools so that training and work experience opportunities can be on the same level as that of other schools.

“Ideally, B&E would like to be able to follow up with pupils to see how they have moved on and what they may have gone on to do in regards to education or employment, to help with better tailoring the placement suggestions we make to students going forward.

“We are also interested in potentially pairing apprenticeships and work training with
self-employment or business training to help further encourage and prepare students who might wish to pursue self-employment and entrepreneurship.”