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26 Mar 2019

Campaign calls on Black Country small businesses to Give an Hour to inspire young people

The Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has launched a new campaign to encourage small employers to make a difference to the futures of young people in the Black Country.

The Give an Hour campaign is targeting small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) to offer an hour of their time to help young people prepare for the fast-changing world of work.

The campaign - run jointly by Black Country LEP and The Careers & Enterprise Company - highlights that in as little as one hour, organisations can help to transform a young person’s future by bringing to life different career opportunities and providing insight about the skills young people need to be work-ready and successful in the workplace.

Evidence shows that regular and meaningful engagement with employers while at school can significantly increase young people’s employment prospects and future earnings. *

Employers are already engaging with thousands of young people across the country, but more employers need to come forward to work with schools and colleges for every young person to get the support they need.

Activities can include interview practice, mentoring or working with a teacher to bring a lesson to life.

With 16.3 million people working in an SME, representing 60% of all private sector employment in the UK, these businesses are key to ensuring all young people get the opportunities they need.

The Give an Hour campaign emphasises the importance of tapping into the career opportunities, skills and knowledge of small businesses.

Employers of all shapes and sizes are encouraged to visit www.giveanhour.co.uk to find out more and register to support a school or college in their area.

The Give an Hour campaign has also launched a video highlighting how small employers have helped to support young people’s careers aspirations. You can view the video here: https://youtu.be/AXLVAnk0FIU

Stewart Towe, Chair of the Black Country LEP said:

The Black Country LEP are excited to lend support to the ‘Give an Hour’ Campaign by encouraging and enabling small and medium businesses to connect with their local school. Small and medium businesses have a vital role to play in helping to build a future talent pipeline by providing young people with a better understanding of local industry. By giving just one hour to their local school, through their local Enterprise Coordinators, small and medium businesses can really make a difference and help influence our future workforce’’

Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of The Careers & Enterprise Company, said:

We know that hardworking small business really want to support young people in their local community but finding the time can be difficult. There are many ways to make a difference to a young person’s future – and with as little as one hour these dynamic small firms can help a young person discover more about the world of work and open up career paths they didn’t even know existed.”

Examples of how SMEs can Give an Hour:

  • Share your career story to a class or assembly setting
  • Work with teachers to bring the curriculum to life by providing business examples
  • Hold a speed networking event with students one to one or in small groups
  • Carry out a mock interview or CV workshop and share your top tips
  • Hold a business/enterprise competition to bring your work to life
  • Run a group session about your industry or business and the potential opportunities.


For more information on Give an Hour in the Black Country email Angela Moore, or call Angela on 01384 471139 / 07825 620570

Image caption: Vikki Haines (Black Country Chamber), Colin Parker (Skills Factory Director), Ben Taylor (Westminster School), Kevin Rogers (Paycare), Angela Moore (Black Country Careers Hub Manager) and Corin Gregory (Careers & Enterprise Co-ordinator)


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