Engaging as a business with the next generation, is a great way to increase staff morale, upskill your workforce, raise brand awareness and help close the future skills gap.
In research carried out on behalf of STEM Learning, over 90% of the feedback from their STEM Ambassador volunteers said that as a result of working with schools and young people they had an increase in their sense of achievement or reward and a similar number agreed that it increased their sense of satisfaction and morale at work.
But taking that first step and dipping the company toe into the water of STEM support can be very daunting, but it can also be one of the most rewarding things you can do. We have seen companies with one or two volunteers tentatively work initially with one school and then move onto dozens of staff volunteering on a regular basis and reaching thousands of young people each year.
We have compiled our top five tips to successfully contributing to the STEM agenda and working to inspire and educate the future workforce.
Top tips for getting started:
- Start small. Find one or two employees who are interested and keen and get them involved early on. Start with Employees who are already involved in inspiring young people such as Scout leaders etc. Let them become your inhouse experts.
- Lead by example. If you are a senior leader then get involved yourself, show them how it is done and that it’s important. If your workload does not allow for this, at least support your workers to do this by allowing time or other incentives to show you value it. Once it gets going you may need someone in house to coordinate your volunteers.
- Make local connections. Often people start by working with the school that their children go to and this is a great place to start. Your local STEM Ambassador Hub can help make these connections for you.
- Find what activities work for you and your staff. A talk to a large group of children is often daunting so do what you are comfortable with and start off small. Work with teachers, non-school groups, small groups of students, A’ level students, primary schools, secondary schools, become a governor of a school, run a STEM Club, the list is almost endless. There are loads of ways to support.
- Shout about it! Both internally and externally. Let your employees and local residents know what you’re doing and that you’re supporting young people in the community. You may find other employees who want to be part of it, and other local schools and organisations that would like your support. The North East Ambition team will also shout about your involvement too and will issue press releases, help you network and report regionally and nationally about your involvement.
Want to find out how companies in the region have benefited from working with the next generation? Then join us for our upcoming event on Inspiring the workforce of tomorrow. Click here to find out more and book.
North East Ambition is led by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and is funded by the European Social Fund. Delivery partners include The Edge Foundation, the EY Foundation, RTC North and STEM learning Ltd. North East Ambition works with every secondary school, college and special education school in the North East to support them to achieve the Good Career Guidance Benchmarks by 2024. By doing this, every young person should be able to identify routes to a successful working life, make more informed decisions about their future and be better prepared for the workplace. Ensuring young people have the skills required for the future North East workforce is fundamental to our economic growth, underpinning our aim of driving an uplift of 100,000 more and better jobs by 2024.
For more information about North East Ambition and how it can help your company, contact email@example.com or the STEM team at 01915164400