Ahead partnership ‘makes the grade’ in Tees valley

Ahead partnership ‘makes the grade’ in Tees valley

Ahead Partnership has launched its successful ‘Make the Grade” programme in Tees Valley at Teesside University. 
The event was an opportunity for key business leaders from the region to hear about the programme and explore how they can be involved. 

The welcome address delivered by James Ramsbotham Chief Executive of North East Chamber of Commerce, who said: “As our business community continues to expand and innovate we need to work ever harder to engage and inspire the next generation.  Every employer has a role to play in engaging with young people to help them find their feet in the increasingly complex world of work.  The Ahead Partnership is well placed to facilitate this activity making it easy for businesses to provide effective and motivational programmes for students around the world of work.” 

‘Make the Grade’ is designed to build long lasting local partnerships between businesses and schools. The programme is running successfully in the Leeds City Region, Birmingham and London and as a result of funding from the Careers & Enterprise Company Innovation Fund, ‘Make the Grade’ will work with schools and businesses across the Tees Valley to deliver engaging and innovative programmes around the world of work. Ahead Partnership is partnering with North Yorkshire Business Education Partnership (NYBEP) to develop and deliver the programme.

Along with First Transpennine Express, Northern PowerGrid and Northern Gas Networks Ltd, Darlington Building Society is one of the initial local companies to invest in the scheme.

At the launch, a discussion about the importance of business engagement with schools and the difference it makes was led Colin Fyfe, Chief Executive of Darlington Building Society and a Board member of Ahead Partnership said:  “It is important that young people leave education more prepared for the workplace.

“As a business this is something that Darlington Building Society is fully supportive of, the Make the Grade programme is something I am pleased to be involved with.”

The Careers and Enterprise Company is an employer-led organisation, initially set up by Government, to inspire and better prepare young people for the fast changing world of work.  It exists to help tackle the dual challenges of youth unemployment and skills shortages faced by business.

Stephanie Burras, chief executive of the Ahead Partnership, said:  “We are proud to be delivering Make the Grade in the Tees Valley.

“The aim is to build and cement long-lasting relationships between businesses and schools to enable and support students to experience the world of work.

“The scheme has reaped dividends for both schools and employers in other regions and we are looking forward to replicating that in the Tees Valley.”

Sue Gradwell, Chief Executive of NYBEP said “‘This is a fantastic opportunity to build on existing work with Tees Valley schools and employers and forge a strong team approach between NYBEP and Ahead Partnership. Our joint team will combine their significant strengths and expertise to build high quality careers and enterprise provision to deliver valuable experiences for young people in this area.”

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