Bespoke Local Projects for National Business
So Students Experience Sectors and Roles




said it improved organisation's profile and access to talent


said it helped organisations meet social value or ESG goals


said it gave opportunities to network with businesses


Common aims across the three projects included:


MEPC is a property development and investment group, operating business parks at, among other locations:

  • Milton Park, near Abingdon, Oxfordshire, its headquarters location
  • Wellington Place, Leeds, West Yorkshire
  • Silverstone Park, at the world-famous motorsport venue, near Towcester, Northamptonshire.

The company has environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals, including a distinct diversity agenda, whose aims include promoting careers by people from groups traditionally under-represented in relevant sectors. MEPC therefore appointed us to design or deliver programmes at these three sites that helped achieve those aims. The initiatives would involve occupant businesses being invited to interact with local students, including by providing employee volunteers with appropriate skills. We designed and delivered the initiatives at Milton Park and in Leeds, while at Silverstone, we implemented a pre-ordained programme of activity. All three projects followed MEPC conducting local needs analyses to identify which schools would benefit most from involvement. We’ve been the organisation’s partner throughout the initiatives, from idea generation to delivery, to ensure their impact was maximised and goals achieved.

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In each project, the emphasis reflected local needs and the nature of the business park occupants. At Milton Park, the focus was on careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM); the Leeds programme attracted young women to a venue populated significantly by white collar organisations, such as professional service firms; the Silverstone initiative featured careers in high-tech and engineering companies.

Both the programmes we designed followed consultations to establish the needs of MPEC, the business park occupants and participating schools.

All three projects are generating the maximum number of meaningful encounters possible between participating students and employers, as this approach is proven to deliver maximised benefits, such as raising young people’s aspirations and motivation to learn. In the Silverstone programme, over 6,500 such contacts took place in year one, for example.

The programmes began in September 2022 and are running for multiple years. Each is engaging the same partner schools throughout, so strong partnerships are created and maintained between them and participating businesses.

That Milton Park project had, by July 2023, involved almost 1,000 pupils from two  secondary schools in nearby Didcot – one for boys, the other the only all-girls comprehensive in Oxfordshire.


Almost 50 pupils from four secondary schools participated in the Leeds project during year one, after priority was given to learning providers that served disadvantaged areas, supported a high number of students in-school during the Covid-19 pandemic or had pupils who found accessing learning from home difficult.

At Silverstone, nearly 850 students from four local secondary schools were involved in the first year. These institutions were selected because they had long-standing relationships with the business park and priority was again given to those serving disadvantaged areas.

Many participating schools across the three projects had higher than national average percentages of young people for whom English was an additional language, were receiving support for special educational needs and disabilities or were triggering the government’s Pupil Premium, as they were officially classed as disadvantaged, for example.

Business park occupants who’ve participated in the programmes include transport operator First Bus, automotive engineering company Cosworth, the National College of Motorsport, construction company Wates, lawyers Ward Hadaway and Shulmans, NHS Digital, HMRC, and the government departments responsible for transport and justice.


Creative contents of the three programmes have included:

  • Explore Milton Park Treks: Year 10 students, aged 14 and 15, spent a day trekking round the business park, meeting various occupants, taking part in interactive workshops and workplace tours, and learning about career opportunities in the employers’ fields.
  • Explore Milton Park Three Day Takeover: Employee volunteers visited the schools to take part in panel discussions and mock interviews with year nine students, aged 13 and 14, who then spent a day on-site with a host employer, and showcased their learnings to peers and other Milton Park organisations.
  • Women of the Future: Leeds students worked with potential role-model women employed in Wellington Place, from apprentices to chief executives, took part in workshops focused on goal setting and looking to their futures, and visited some real-life office environments, among other activities.
  • Enrichment Festival: Leeds pupils spent two days taking part in activities such as life skills workshops and business networking sessions, supported by Wellington Place occupants, to develop a better understanding of the world of work and build aspirations for their future careers.
  • Inspirational Industry Days: The variety of employers at Silverstone was showcased to the students and any misconceptions that the roles there only involved motorsports were banished. Each student had up to seven employer encounters, through various occupier workshops and a Question Time-style panel event at the end of the day.
  • Silverstone Park Site Visits: Young people spent a day being immersed in the working world of various occupiers. Each student experienced up to five employer encounters, one with an opening guest speaker and four via visits to site businesses.

Feedback from the employer representatives who have participated in the three projects so far has included:

  • 100 per cent said they’d take part in these activities again
  • 95 per cent said being involved improved their business’s profile and access to talent.
  • 94 per cent said participating helped their organisations meet their social value or ESG goals.
  • 94 per cent said they now had an improved understanding of young people
  • 92 per cent said taking part gave them opportunities to network with other businesses.

The alliance between Ahead Partnership and ourselves is now well-established and shows the incredible impact we can deliver together, in supporting young people local to our sites and helping the businesses which occupy them achieve their ESG goals

Dominique Murray, Head of Customer Experience & Marketing Manager, MEPC

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