Employers impressed

Regional Mayors endorse their city's Community-Apprentice programme at latest round of Envision events

In Envision’s three regions we have the support of influential business leaders who advocate for our work developing young people’s employability skills. 

Andy Street, the first Mayor of the West Midlands (centre of picture), recently launched the Mayor’s Mentors, an initiative to help give young people from the West Midlands the skills and advice to flourish. The event was attended by many senior business leaders and opinion-formers including Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of The Careers & Enterprise Company (pictured to the right of Andy Street). Teams of young people from Envision were invited to present at the Business Reception to promote the value of mentoring. One young person took to the stage to share his Envision project on loneliness, supported by the Co-op Foundation. He had become passionate about the issue after an elderly lady in his local park feared him when he tried to ask her how she was. This made him realise that if one person was intimated by someone of his generation, there were likely many more who were, too. This was something he wanted to change.

The audience were impressed with all the young speakers and Andy Street was so moved by the young people’s presentations that after having spoken to them all at the event, he said

“I believe that mentoring can provide role models and opportunities for young people and want to encourage businesses to get involved with great initiatives like Envision, as part of the Mayor’s Mentors. I do often find that the best advocates are the young people themselves. The way each one presented at the event, on issues that matter most to them, was testimony to what they had all gained from mentoring.”

Andy Street has also acted as a mentor to a young person in the past, and his mentee was none other than Birmingham Envision Graduate Imani!

In Bristol, Tim Boyles, the West of England Mayor chaired the judging panel for December’s Key Stage 4 Pitching Challenge. He is a firm believer in developing skills in the West of England’s young people to prepare them for the world of work and so is the perfect Envision advocate. Talking of his experience at our event, he said,“I was so pleased to be part of the Pitching Challenge judge team where I met so many inspiring young people from across South Gloucestershire. Wow and congratulations!”

For a glimpse of the day’s events, check out the video below:

In London, our Key Stage 5 Pitching Challenge took place in the old studio of the BBC’s Dragons’ Den. We had suitably impressive judges from the worlds of private equity, accounting, finance and more on hand to provide top feedback and deliver the results of how much funding each team had secured. Martin Harrison, a judge from the event said, “It was two life-affirming hours which reminded me that, despite everything you read, we should have confidence that the next generation will take us to some rather better outcomes than the current generation of so called leaders”.

Watch the video below to see what happened: