A very good question! Lots of businesses both large and small allow their staff time away from work to support young people in local schools, particularly in Science Technology, Engineering and Maths subject areas, but what’s the point, and more importantly, what’s in it for the business?
Well, quite a lot actually.
On the surface of it, some senior leaders see letting their staff out of work to participate in events with young people as a bit of a jolly, not real work or as time they could and should be doing something productive. It’s time they should be doing real work for the company, after all, that’s what they’re paid for. However, research shows that allowing staff the freedom to participate in these type of activities has a positive effect on the staff involved, builds brand awareness and as a result the business reaps the rewards.
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.
Development covered a wide range of transferrable skills that both schools and businesses often struggle to instil in young people and the workforce. Increased communication and presentation skills, confidence and self-esteem, leadership, and teamwork skills to name just a few. By planning and preparing STEM activities and then delivering sessions, volunteer Ambassadors gained valuable skills that were then directly translated into their work environment. The opportunity for several volunteers from the same organisation to work together, often from different departments, allowed them to transfer their skills and knowledge and learn from each other. This often breaks down barriers to workplace collaboration and provides recognition and understanding of diverse and complementary skills and roles.
As a result, the company ends up with a more motivated workforce. Staff feel better about themselves and are better at promoting the business. Whilst delivering sessions with young people Ambassadors are encouraged to wear their uniforms, use this as an opportunity to help raise awareness of the brand. Whilst time spent with the young people, helps them to identify the organisations as the sort of company they want to work for when they leave school. It gives your business a direct line into local schools so that you can influence your talent pipeline and reach out to your future consumers.
Jamie Ollivere, Managing Director of RTC North said:
“Being socially responsible is really important to RTC, which is why we are involved in the STEM agenda and opening up opportunities for young people In the North of England, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it has a positive impact on us as a business.
“Anyone from RTC who takes part in this activity really enjoys it and as a result it has a really positive impact on morale, employee motivation and ultimately productivity.
“It also strengthens our brand and attracts more great people and for all these reasons we will continue to support this hugely important agenda.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or the STEM team at 01915164400