Four programmes to enable SMEs and schools to bridge the skills gap through collaboration

IN: Business news

SMEs account for 59.3 per cent of private sector employment in the UK, but recent reports suggest many are struggling to fill vacancies due to a mismatch between the skills students acquire in education and those required in the professional world.

In fact, the Commission for Employment and Skills found one in every five jobs cannot be filled due to a skills shortage. It is therefore vital for both young people and small businesses that this issue is addressed, creating a real need for SMEs and schools to work together to help students develop the outlook and understanding they need to succeed in the working world. These five programmes aim to facilitate this type of collaboration.

Get in Get

On Aimed at 16-19 year olds looking to work in the financial services and accountancy sector, The Get In Get On programs pairs students up with a business mentor to undertake online guidance sessions and learning modules via a specially developed e-mentoring platform. SKILL! Founded by young entrepreneur Patrick Philpott, SKILL! is a programme of one-day workshops where students develop core skills by devising and pitching big ideas. Working in groups with professionals on-hand to provide support, the teams acquire a taste of the entrepreneurial world and vital skills needed when moving from school into the world of work, such as problem-solving, communication and interpersonal skills.

Aldermore is a keen supporter of SKILL!, having joined workshops across several UK cities in the past to provide guidance and advice to the teams during the sessions.

The Design and Technology Association Skills Gap Programme

Launched in October, the Design and Technology Association's Skills Gap Programme focuses on enhancing technology, creativity and innovation skills for school-age pupils. Businesses work together with Design and Technology teachers to outline a five-month project curriculum more suited to the needs of the technical sector and creative industries.

Business Class

Aimed specifically at supporting students from a disadvantaged background, Business Class is a scheme run by Business in the Community to connect schools with local businesses. The initiative takes a long-term approach to cultivating skills, forging ongoing partnerships between schools and the business community, rather than one-off projects.

With the future of both small businesses and the young generation dependent on finding a way to bridge the skills gap that currently exists, programmes like those outlined above will play a vital role in ensuring a healthy British economy.

Aldermore hopes to see a growing number of businesses and schools engaging in initiatives like this to take a more collaborative, cohesive approach to education and industry.

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