“Skilling-Up” For The Future – Businesses United For Bristol Schools Competition
- Mike Beesley, RSG; Jonathan Snary, BPP; Elaine Brown, Founder and Director of the RSG Bristol Young Student of the Year; David Bird, Director of Bristol Young Talent; and David Marsh, Master of the Society of Merchant Venturers
Leading Bristol businesses are encouraging employers and professionals from across the region to help “skill-up” the region’s school leavers by supporting the RSG Bristol Young Student of the Year Competition 2012.
Officially launching on October 10 with more than 18 schools and 35 teams already registered, the initiative has attracted significant backing from main sponsors, national recruitment organisation, Resource Solutions Group Plc.
Other supporters include The Society of Merchant Venturers, BPP University College and Veale Wasbrough Vizards.
Now in its second year, the competition, which is for 16-19 year olds, is free to enter and is open to all state schools, colleges and academies the in Bristol region. Organisers hope it will help address the rising number of unemployment in this age group in the local area.
The theme for this year’s competition is Bristol Young Futures which will materialise as an online portal, specifically for young people. The dedicated website will showcase a number of career opportunities available in the region. Participants of the competition will each be given a real client from key industries in Bristol and will work with them to create a concept that feeds into the website.
The competition also provides a platform of opportunity for businesses in the region to build on their CSR initiatives.
Businesses can pledge their support in a number of ways including donating job placements and internships as well as providing cash prizes for team awards. Business professionals can also contribute their expertise to the competition by becoming official mentors to the students.
Mike Beesley, CEO of RSG, the competition’s headline sponsor for at least the next two years, said:
“As an organisation this is something we feel extremely strongly about. Whilst there is a lot of conversation around the future of university graduates, school leavers and those who may not get into university are being forgotten.
“It is not the education system’s job to make their students ‘work-place’ savvy, but as the head of a national recruitment organisation I see every day the significant lack of commercial awareness there is in young people and it causes me a great deal of concern about the future of our economy and for young people’s aspirations in general.
“This competition is a great place to start looking at how to address these issues. There is a fantastic sense of collaboration already around the project and I hope that through our ongoing involvement and commitment to it we can really make a difference both for students and business alike.”
Through collaboration with employers and their staff, the competition will work across five main sectors with one main company in each sector presenting a “business brief” that the youngsters will respond to.
Run over six months, the competition has three stages and presents students with the opportunity to win a life-changing £15,000 BPP scholarship alongside a number of other prizes.
The Society of Merchant Venturers has signed up to support the competition for the next three years. David Marsh, Master of The Society said: “Supporting young people and helping them find employment is something that businesses are perfectly placed to do – both in terms of access to advice and mentoring as well as actually providing jobs.
“It is also a great opportunity for businesses to experience the benefits that working alongside young, enthusiastic people can bring. This competition is a very practical and directed way of helping nurture talent and provide inspiration, so and we’re looking forwards to seeing what both the businesses and school teams will create.”
Elaine Brown, founder and director of The RSG Bristol Young Student of the Year said: “It is fantastic to see such enthusiasm and support for this year’s competition coming from some of the top companies and business people in this area.
“Last year’s competition was a great success so we already know how generous the business community in Bristol can be. We are really looking forward to working with organisations across all sectors and industries in Bristol who create real job opportunities for young people and are critical to the local economy.
“The overall aim is to bridge the gap between employers and young people in Bristol, helping kids make a difference to their futures. We can’t do this without the support of businesses.”
The official launch of the competition to schools will take place at Bristol City Football Club on 10th October between 13.30-16.30pm.
If you are a business who would like to get involved, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org