Working in partnership with business is crucial to the credibility and success of enterprise education. In addition to developing the skills of potential future employees, participating in enterprise education can help address many business objectives including:
- Corporate and social responsibility. This is defined as 'a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns into their business operations and in their interaction with the local and wider community'.
- Stakeholder Engagement. Stakeholder engagement is the bedrock of corporate social responsibility. If you are effective in your stakeholder engagement, you will open up new ways to improve your organisation's performance and reputation. Local schools, colleges, universities and communities are key Stakeholders in any business. Working in partnership with them will improve any organisation’s future business development.
- Press and Public Relations can be improved through positive news items and word of mouth support for businesses who have developed relationships with local schools, colleges and universities.
- Staff Development - the best way to learn is to teach. Many employees find that supporting students in a variety of ways from assisting with reading to supporting enterprise activities improves their confidence and management skills in the workplace.
- Giving Back Many people get a tremendous sense of reward from working with young people, sharing some of their business experience and helping young people develop their skills. Wildfire is a website which links businesspeople with young entrepreneurs: www.wildfirehub.com
- Future employees All employers want individuals who have the ability to think and respond positively in the work place. By supporting enterprise in education you are helping build better employees for the future as well as positioning your company to be First Choice of employer for today’s students.
A number of our members and partner organisations including the Regional Education Business Partnerships, Young Enterprise, The Prince's Trust, Make Your Mark Wakefield, Schools’ Enterprise Network and the Regional Language Network have been very successful in forging mutually beneficial links between business and education.
- The Real Business Challenge, developed by Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd., is an excellent example of partnership working across the region.
- Wakefield District Housing is one of the many companies who are committed to developing the confidence and skills of young people through staff mentoring programmes.
- Many entrepreneurs give their time advising and inspiring budding young entrepreneurs on the Wildfire website.
- A number of the banks have developed valuable resources to improve young people’s personal finance awareness and provided support training for teaching staff.
We urge more businesses to get involved and have a real influence on the skills and attitudes of the future workforce of our region.