Smith & Williamson, the accountancy and investment management group, hosted an evening with Birmingham-based Every Child Needs a Mentor, the education-integrated mentoring service, at its Moorgate office on Thursday 7th November.
The event took place as part of National Youth Week, and was attended by CEOs and socially-minded business people from across a variety of industries, as well as individuals from the Department of Work and Pensions. Also present was speaker Mike Harris, founding CEO of First Direct, EGG Banking Plc and the Chairman & CEO of Mercury Communications.
Herman Stewart, author and founder of Every Child Needs a Mentor, commented: “Up to 1,000 children are excluded from school in the UK every day and close to 1 million young people are not in employment, education or training, not to mention the dormant potential of young people in schools who have no access to mentoring in the UK. It is vitally important to make corporate organisations aware of the great opportunity that they have to make a significant difference to schools, the future leaders, entrepreneurs and workforce of our country. Mentoring is one of the most effective ways there is to impart skills to help young people have a greater capacity to access opportunities in life.”
Guy Rigby, head of Entrepreneurs at Smith & Williamson, said: “We’re delighted to be showing our support for this very worthwhile cause; our own Enterprise Index research has shown that over 30% of respondent businesses are frustrated by the low levels of basic literacy and numeracy among school and college leavers, and 31% also reported that young people lack the technical skills that employers need. This is clearly a situation that needs to be remedied to promote wider economic growth, and we applaud the good work of Herman and his colleagues.”
Mike Harris added: “Business has to play a major role in making the UK competitive in the global economy. Herman is presenting business with an opportunity to make a difference to the quality of people entering the workforce and at the same time helping to fulfil a critical social need.”