Over the summer, a group of 15 Ian Williams employees were privileged to act as career mentors for 25 pupils from nearby Chipping Sodbury School. The initiative was hosted in partnership with Future Frontiers, an award-winning charity that works with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to raise career aspirations and drive academic performance.
Future Frontiers believes that pupils from low-income families are less likely to enjoy school, less likely to see the value in their education, and are therefore more likely to under-achieve. By building partnerships between schools and local businesses, the Future Frontiers programme helps young people make the link between educational attainment and exciting career opportunities, motivating them at an important time as they make subject option choices or prepare to take GCSE examinations.
For employees at Ian Williams, mentoring young people through potentially life-changing career decisions was hugely worthwhile and a learning experience in its own right: Employees began their journey with a coaching workshop, and over the course of four weeks, volunteer mentors helped pupils delve into careers that inspired them, find out more about the pathway to their dream job, and understand how education opens doors to career success. The final session involved a video call with professional experts, including a zookeeper, a professional football coach and an animator.
100% of the 25 pupils who completed the programme with Ian Williams agreed the knowledge they gained about how to reach their top career has improved their attitude towards learning. And, 100% of the 15 Ian Williams employee volunteers agreed the programme was highly rewarding.
Furthermore, we asked them which area they felt had improved the most as a result of the programme, and:
26% improved attitude in class
20% improved participation in activities outside of school
20% improved participation in class
Ian Williams recognises that it’s our people who define and shape our organisation and sustain our growth. We commit to the training and development of our entire workforce, with particular focus on recruiting and managing those enrolled on our large Apprenticeship and Trainee Surveyor Programmes; managed by the Ian Williams Academy and aimed at creating career opportunities for young people. Sian Pearce, Ian Williams’ Training and Development Manager comments:
“Getting involved with the Future Frontiers initiative fits hand in glove with Ian Williams’ approach to encourage young people, some of whom may not have had a privileged start to life, prepare for the future of work. A joint initiative between the Ian Williams’ Academy, Foundation and business as a whole, we were delighted with how many of our employees wanted to get involved and give up their time to coach – and hopefully guide the young people involved in the programme to discover and explore careers that inspire them. In fact, it would be fantastic if some of the students who successfully complete the programme and go on to achieve GCSEs, come back to join our Academy Apprentice programme to develop their careers further in the future.”
Browse our website to find out more about Ian Williams and the products and services we offer: www.ianwilliams.co.uk