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Students and businesses encouraged to 'Make the Grade' in Sheffield


Ahead Partnership will extend our nationwide Make the Grade programme when it launches in Sheffield on 8 November.

Calling upon organisations, schools and colleges from the South Yorkshire region to get involved, the Make the Grade programme brings businesses and educators together to give every young person inspiration and ideas, regardless of their background.

Since its launch in 2011 over 100,000 young people from Leeds City Region, Birmingham and London have benefitted from Make the Grade with over 45,000 young people, 150 schools and colleges, 3,000 volunteers and 600 businesses taking part in 2016/17 alone.

With research showing that young people can often find the experience of investigating career options frustrating and uninspiring, Make the Grade focuses on bringing ideas and inspiration through real-life, hands-on experiences about future career paths to young people.

Driven by a national team from Ahead Partnership, and supported by the government-backed Careers and Enterprise Company, Make the Grade creates partnerships between education and employers to design engaging and immersive career-related activities. Employers that already invest in Make the Grade include Plusnet, Land Securities, First Transpennine Express, Pinsent Masons, KPMG and Northern Powergrid.

Daniela Grant, Partnerships Development Manager for South Yorkshire for Ahead Partnership comments: “From research we know that when students are given the chance to engage with employers it has a direct and positive impact on their future success. Creating ‘real life’ experiences through Make the Grade, such as enterprise challenges and live business briefs, gives young people the opportunity to ask connect with leading employers, while developing their skills and considering career options for the future.”

She adds: “We would like to thank those businesses that are already involved with Make the Grade. They are very much leading the way in South Yorkshire.”

Global logistics firm XPO Logistics already works with Ahead Partnership in the region to deliver the ASOS Global Challenge, which helps students develop an understanding of the logistics and e-commerce industries. The Challenge brings together over 300 pupils from South Yorkshire and asks them to think creatively about innovative solutions.

Ken Perritt, XPO Logistics account director, comments: “We’re really pleased to be one of the first businesses to show support for Make the Grade as it launches in Sheffield. We’ve been involved with Ahead Partnership for a number of years and have seen first-hand the value of bespoke activities of this kind.

“It’s not just about the competitiveness of the challenge – or the fact they can win a state of the art drone - but also the skills they learn. They have to consider how their ideas will work in practice; this includes what impact they will have on the environment, financial implications and safety. It gives them some real business context and challenges them to think innovatively and differently.”

For further details about Make the Grade and how your business or school/college can get involved please visit: http://makethegrade.org.uk/  

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