More than a hundred students from East Birmingham have networked with businesses to help them achieve their future career aspirations.
Be Bold, Be The Future was organised by Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP), Birmingham City Council and community services provider The Pioneer Group, and was generously hosted by Millennium Point.
Switching from the traditional way of senior leaders guiding younger people, the day was focused on offering young people the chance to ‘mentor up’ and ‘reverse mentor’ through sharing their insight with employers including the BBC, Aspire Active Education and Severn Trent.
Matt Whittington from Aspire Education commented;
“ I found it really interesting, really worthwhile. I met some fantastic young people today. It really helps us see what we can get out of youth today, so as an employer, we can see what the youth want to become and how we can help them to get to that stage.”
A Year 11 student from Greenwood Academy said:
“ It’s incrediblty important, it gives us a wider perspective on what we can do with ourselves and it gives us hope for the future.”
During the day, young people participated in workshops, and networking and heard from Elfried Samba whose CV includes Head of Social Content for fitness clothing brand Gymshark and now Head of Community and Social at Blockchain venture studio IOCONIC.
Elfried Samba said, “ I grew up in this area, I feel like there’s a lot of exciting talent and opportunities bubbling up in the West Midlands and if I can play a small role in sparking that innovation and getting people to believe in themselves then that’s great for me.”
The reverse mentoring concept was delivered by GBSLEP as part of its You(th) Matter Strategy designed to address the disconnect between young people and the labour market.
Sophie Drake, GBSLEP Board Director for Young People said:
“We have seen an accelerated change in the workforce and workspace since the onset of Covid-19. It’s crucial that business leaders understand the needs of their future workforce to address labour market shortages.”
She added, “Working with Birmingham City Council on this project as part of the Partnerships for People and Place (PfPP) programme has highlighted how important our business community is in helping shape the future of young people across the city, but we must listen to them to make meaningful change.”
The event was organised as part of a wider programme being run by Birmingham City Council to help young people. The Partnerships for People and Place (PfPP) programme is a national scheme, with Birmingham City Council receiving a grant from a £5 million Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) funding pot.
Cllr Brigid Jones, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council said:
“The Partnerships for People and Place (PfPP) programme, delivered with our partners The Pioneer Group and University of Birmingham, is aimed at strengthening our work in East Birmingham to help local young people with training and employment opportunities. Youth unemployment is a major challenge after the pandemic and events like this are important for students to connect, network and learn from speakers as well as being part of two-way learning with employers.”
East Birmingham students and businesses network with a difference at Be Bold, Be The Future event was published on FE News by FE News Editor