A new jobs board is seeking the support of businesses as it launches a campaign designed to transform the lives of Croydon schoolchildren.
LoveCroydonJobs, part of the LoveLocalJobs.com family, unveiled proposals to launch its Be the Change programme in the borough at Croydon Business Venture's inaugural business breakfast hosted at Weatherill House Business Centre. White Label Creative is a founding partner of LoveLocalJobs.
The aim is to provide mentoring for disengaged year nine schoolchildren with the goal of improving their hope, happiness and confidence, and their relationships and communication skills, which will in turn improve their job prospects and the future talent supply for local businesses.
Rosanna Farrar, Head of Partnerships and Events at LoveLocalJobs, said: "At 13 or 14 years old you are at the turning point in your life. You are starting to make some big decisions about the choices you are going to make and working out where you fit within your social peer group, so it is at that point you are best placed to catch them before they start making the wrong decisions and hanging out with the wrong people."
Working in partnership with Humanutopia, which runs inspirational life-changing courses for young people, the plan is to bring around 100 students together with business mentors at an inspirational venue this September, with the aim of not just improving the youngsters' life chances but also producing a better workforce for the future.
As part of the full Be the Change programme, students enjoy one-on-one sessions with mentors and go on a workplace visits to get an understanding of what it is like in a real-life business and even get the opportunity to become mentors themselves (to local feeder primary students).
Be the Change has already enjoyed great success in Brighton, Coastal West Sussex and Hastings and is soon to roll out in other parts of Sussex. The long list of supporters in Sussex includes American Express, Brighton & Hove Albion, IT First, Sodexo, Local Authorities, Heart FM, Careers & Enterprise Company, Coast to Capital LEP, Sussex Learning Network and the Universities of Brighton, Chichester and Sussex.
Rosanna added: "I am very passionate about Croydon, having worked here for 15 years, and know many businesses in the area find it difficult to find the right talent for their businesses.
"When you are looking to grow your business it is a massive investment and you want to make sure you employ the right person. It is local business people that will make 'Be the Change' possible.
"Our partners here in Croydon, in particular Croydon Business Venture, Liverpool Victoria, Harris Global, Heart FM, Amex and White Label, are all working with us to ensure that Be the Change comes to Croydon and is a massive success.
"We are still looking for as many businesses as possible to come and talk to us about either attending the launch conference, becoming a mentor, becoming a sponsor or offering an event space. By supporting this incredible programme now you will reap the rewards in the future when it improves your future workforce and indeed the local community and economy."
To find out more about how you can support Be the Change programme call 01273 651100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org