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“Since 2004 we've been achieving excellent outcomes for people across the country by providing first class partnerships between educators, communities and employers. Our programmes have gone from strength to strength - along with the organisations and people we support."

Stephanie Burras CBE, Chief Executive, Ahead Partnership

"Good careers support is vital in inspiring and helping young people to make smart, informed choices about their futures - whether that's going off to university, starting an apprenticeship or kick starting a career. It's great to see programmes like this continue to positively impact young lives."

Justine Greening, Education Secretary 2017


About Ahead Partnership

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For over a decade, Ahead Partnership has been connecting employers with education, public and private sector partnersusing partnership as an engine for social and economic change.  


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Our Chief Executive, Stephanie Burras, left international law firm Pinsent Masons to set up social enterprise Leeds Ahead. Leeds Ahead focuses on how business can contribute more effectively to combating social and economic inequality and supports partners, social enterprises, charities and schools with a range of activities and initiatives.  


2009 goldman

With investment from Goldman Sachs we help launch their highly successful10,000 Small Businesses scheme in the UK for the benefit of over 900 businesses to date. 

Business leaders have completed in-depth training and received tailored support, with 88% of the participants growing their revenue. 




We launch Make the Grade, an annual programme of interactive activities to help schools and businesses work together to inspire, motivate and raise the aspirations of young people. 

Stephanie is appointed to the board of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership. 


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We’re awarded £1 million Big Lottery Funding to develop and expand Make the Grade. We become Ahead Partnership and start to operate across the Leeds City Region. 

Everyone is proud as our Chief Executive is awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2014. She is also appointed Chair of the Leeds City Region Employment & Skills Panel and continues this post until December 2017.


2015 selfridges bham

We launch Make the Grade in Birmingham and London and grow to a team of 25 people. 

We’re operating in 280 schools, have engaged over 1,100 businesses and have worked with over 100,000 young people to help them understand more about the working world to date. 




Make the Grade is recognised as a #CECWhatWorks programme by the government-backed Careers & Enterprise Company, receiving a second year of funding to take our programme to even more young people across West and South Yorkshire. 

In late 2017 we were delighted to be crowned 'Best in Class' at the national British Chamber Business Awards for our business and education partnerships.

Headquartered in Yorkshire, Make the Grade has a national reach and delivers in cities and regions across the UK.  Find out more about Make the Grade >>