Young Enterprise needs business adviser boost

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 24 Aug 2017

VOLUNTEERS are being sought by entrepreneurial seed-sowing charity Young Enterprise.

After a successful campaign to get northern Lincolnshire schools on board, business advisers are now being sought to role out the company programme.

Kathy Fillingham, treasurer of the South Humber Local Voluntary Board, praised the efforts of manager Lucy O’Donnell, who started at the beginning of the year after a 15 year career with Department of Work and Pensions.

“We are a charity and we rely more heavily on volunteers now,” Mrs Fillingham said. “Lucy has come on board and been really good, she believes in what she is doing and has got 13 programmes ready to go, now we need to recruit the people to help.” 

YE’s overall aim is to reduce youth employment by preventing it in the first place. It teaches pupils about the world of work and financial literacy, helping with key employability skills such as confidence, resilience and communication. The company programme sees schools develop teams and run businesses, competing with others in the area, then regionally and nationally, where more than 250,000 young people take part. This coming year is seeing a targeted approach to increase engagement with schools serving disadvantaged areas.

“Company programme students develop their key employability skills by making all the decisions about their business, from deciding the company name and product to creating a business plan, managing the finances and selling the products,” Mrs Fillingham said, herself part of the YE alumni. “It is a fantastic scheme that gives the children a great opportunity.”

Research undertaken shows that 94 per cent of those engaged in the programme on to further education, employment or training.

“Business advisors go in and give an hour a week to go an assist. It is a big commitment, but that’s what we initially need,” Mrs Fillingham added.

One who played a role last year was Murray Sellers, a director of Lindum Packaging at Stallingborough. He said: “My son took part in this year’s Young Enterprise, and it has been a fantastic experience for him. The small group of Year 10 Pupils from Focus School, Cottingham Campus that took part hit a large number of real-life challenges.

“They suffered exposure to regulations and challenges to logistics that tested their ingenuity, and their Geography, and perhaps the greatest challenge of all, working together while remaining friends. Through the whole process, including the head-to-head competitions, there were no losers, only learners!

“Having had the privilege of seeing what goes on behind the scenes, I can honestly say that the experience of being involved in a Young Enterprise company is a brilliant opportunity for local businesspeople to get involved in as we seek to understand commerce in the future.

“The speed with which these young persons collaborate, solve problems and action the solutions through electronic means is enlightening. I certainly hope the initiative goes on from strength to strength as each year leaves a higher standard for the next follow.”

The organisation is also looking to swell the board, chaired by long-serving former British Steel boss Mike Hare. Monthly board meetings are held, with a number of events also supported. 

Nicola Barrass, partner at pan-Humber law firm Bridge McFarland, is creating a vacancy as she moves to head up the North Bank board. She said: “I have been a board member for Young Enterprise in the South Humber area for several years now. I thoroughly enjoy being involved with the charity and seeing first hand the journey that the students go through in learning about running a business and the development of employability skills such as communication and teamwork. We see them dealing with the challenges as well as the high points, and it is very rewarding to observe how they develop in confidence during their time on the programme.”

For more information about the advisor or board positions, email Lucy at lucy.odonnell@y-e.org.uk or call 07917 185582.

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