Companies across industries are putting education at the centre of their corporate social responsibility programmes. By working alongside schools they are able to complement and boost classroom learning and in time improve student outcomes.
Over the last six months volunteers from Euromonitor’s London office have been working with two local schools delivering mentoring and workshops focused on employability and key skills. Supporting young people to develop strong employability skills is vital if they are, one day, to successfully enter the workforce.
The World of Work Mentoring – Samuel Rhodes School Islington
Samuel Rhodes School is an Islington Special Needs school meeting the needs of pupils between 5 and 16 with moderate learning difficulties. Five volunteers have been guiding the school’s sixth form students (aged 16-17) through a 10 week introduction to work and goal setting programme. The school’s hope is that with guidance and support when the pupils finish school they will have developed the necessary skills and confidence to seek employment. Meeting on a weekly basis at Euromonitor’s head office the mentees explored time keeping, dress codes, body language, boundaries and public speaking.
In addition to the mentoring one student is doing a 3 week summer placement with her mentor and in November a second student will start a 6 month 1 day a week work placement with our Facilities and Reception team.
“This experience has been incredible as I have had the opportunity to see a young lady evolve and gain confidence in herself step by step. It is a huge reward to see someone make progress and there is nothing more motivating than helping someone who truly needs support. I would recommend anyone to throw themselves into the experience and give everything they have; what they will get in return is priceless.” Euromonitor Volunteer
Leadership workshops – Highbury Fields School
Highbury Fields School is an 11-18 girls’ school in Islington. This year they have re-introduced the role of Year 10 Prefects. To help the students develp key skills they will need in the role and as a reward for taking on the additional responsibility 14 girls attended two leadership workshops at our London office.
In the first workship employee volunteers supported the students in a number of tasks designed to help them develop their teamwork skills. A giraffe building exercise proved popular with students and staff members alike. The challenge, to build a giraffe that was at least one metre tall and could remain free standing for at least 30 seconds. All of the teams manage to create something, whether they were all identifiable as a giraffe is open to debate! What did quickly become clear to the students was that working as a team requires a division of duties and constant communication.
“Today I’ve learnt how to compromise and work with people I’ve not before.” Student participant
In the second workshop the students got to participate in their own Dragons’ Den style boardroom meeting. Split in three teams each representing a different shareholder of a company each team had 3 goals to achieve from the meeting. The boardroom got quite heated at times with each group keen to ensure they got what they wanted. The negotiations were split into 10 minute sections with breaks in-between for the teams to re-consider their strategy and identify bargaining opportunities.
“It was great to see the students become more confident in their strategies and negotiating as the session progressed. I wouldn’t want to have to take them on!” Euromonitor Volunteer
It is fantastic to able to work with local schools to boost their curriculum and to provide students with insight into the world of work. Volunteers on both programmes have greatly enjoyed working with the students and we look forward to doing more both in our London office and globally.