Business Ambassadors Needed to Fly Flag for Critical Sheffield Service

26th September 2022

A service that links employers with young people in schools has launched a Business Ambassador programme to ensure ambition is fostered and never abandoned.

See It Be It In Sheffield, part of Sheffield City Council, provides free services which help businesses nurture future talent and inspire young people about possible careers.

The launch comes as research reveals critical sectors including healthcare, construction and retail could soon face a catastrophic shortage of workers, as job candidates shun key worker jobs because of perceptions about pay and working hours.[1]

“They are key to shoring up our economy, addressing the skills shortages blighting our region and enabling young people to fulfil their potential lives in projects like See It Be It in Sheffield,” said Fiona Fletcher, Sheffield City Council Programme & Projects Coordinator.

We connect businesses of all sizes with schools across Sheffield and the benefit of engagement is clear to see. When a business invests in young people, they’re not only inspiring a new generation but developing the skills of their potential future workforce.  Everybody wins.”

See It Be It In Sheffield is seeking Ambassadors to join a new peer to peer programme to help spread the word among the business community about the social value of giving just half an hour a week.

“We work with approximately 40 schools and 100 businesses in the region. In the last year, we have supported 31 schools and colleges, had 10,283 student interactions, engaged 100 employers and businesses and placed 377 volunteers. Feedback from those businesses tells us that nurturing talent is cheaper, more effective and strengthens a business. We are interested in working with microbusinesses, self-employed people as well as corporates who invest in environment, social and governance practices (ESG) and can help spread the word.”

Ambassadors would help share knowledge about the programme and ways to get involved with their own professional and community networks to inspire activity, promote opportunity, and drive social mobility.

Paper Studio is one Sheffield business reaping the rewards. Paper is a user research and design studio that designs everything to do with services – from an organisation's strategy for delivering them, to the teams, tools and processes needed to support them, to the online and offline experiences of the people who use them. They believe in designing with people, not for them, and making sure no person is left behind.

The See it Be it in Sheffield team have supported Paper in a workshop they’ve designed and are delivering in schools across the city. They’re doing this because they want Paper, and the sector they work in, to be a welcoming place to work and want to encourage more people from different backgrounds into the work they do.

The team at Paper are huge supporters of See it Be it in Sheffield. Two of their team members have been Business Advisers for the BiG Challenge, mentoring participating teams at Forge Valley School.

They have already prepared and delivered talks in school and following each workshop students are invited to spend time at Paper’s studio in the city centre. From advice given from the See it Be it team, Paper know that multiple interactions with students can have a massive impact on their decision making. After each talk the team evaluates their experience and looks at what worked well, what could have been better and what things they want to change.

Jon Rhodes, Delivery Manager, Director and Co-Founder at Paper said: “We have enjoyed all of it, but particularly having the opportunity to speak to students, share what we’ve learnt, open up the roles in our industry and see students take part in an activity we’ve designed. It’s another step in continuing to make Paper a welcoming place to work, and to encourage anyone to think about the work we do as a potential career option”.

The company seized the opportunity to get involved in See It Be It in Sheffield’s free services and staff have visited schools across the city to inspire young people about the world of work.

For more information about See It Be It in Sheffield visit: https://padlet.com/SeeItBeIt_Sheff/bulletin

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