Call for mentors to support the next generation of business talent
In November 2021, recognising the need for a constant pool of local talent, Simon Hyde, Chief Executive of FAUN Zoeller UK and local business leaders launched ‘Power Up’ a mentoring scheme for local young people.
Simon Hyde said,
“Power Up is a mentoring scheme led by senior local businesspeople and educationalists who give their time to mentor school children and young people.
“Young people in high school are not showing enough interest in the business world. We think this has a lot to do with a lack of understanding about what is involved in a business career as well as what is required to achieve it. I was lucky when I was young – I had two brilliant mentors, without whom I wouldn’t be in the job I do today.”
The ‘Power Up’ mentoring scheme supports and encourages young people aged 15/16 and 17 to consider a career in business. The aim of the mentoring programme is to increase confidence, self-belief, and build resilience in young people.
Simon Hyde said: “Some people think that mentoring is about hand-holding and looking after young people. That is not true: it is about getting young people motivated, increasing their confidence and ensuring they are resilient, not just now but for the future.
“The challenging situation in the wake of Covid often means that young people have become overly sheltered and don’t feel empowered to follow their dreams or make decisions about their future. In the business world, goal setting, managing under pressure and being accountable are key drivers. As mentors we set out to help young people tap into their own energy so they can be empowered to move forward with confidence.”
Power Up mentors encourage school pupils to visit their companies or organisations. Mentors also visit schools to talk to both the pupils and teachers to establish rapport.
Darren Houlcroft, principal at Houlcroft Wealth Management and Power Up Mentor said: “We are inspiring young people to come into business after leaving school. But to do this we need to build bridges between commerce and the education worlds. Since I have been mentoring, I have been surprised how little is known about business – how it operates and the need for creativity, free thinking and dynamism.”
Mr Houlcroft added: “Power Up provides young people and their teachers with evidence and clarity about what is on offer in the business world and how young people can get themselves equipped and work ready.”
“Due to legislation and Health & Safety regulations, work experience, weekend and evening paid work outside school hours have declined dramatically in the UK in the last decade. This means pupils have little experience of how business works. Schools have also been criticised for being too focussed on following curriculums and for too much emphasis on examination results and grades.
Louise Laxton is an experienced senior teacher who currently heads up the dedicated careers advice and counsellor department at Trinity High School & Sixth Form Centre in Redditch.
“In the past, business has not helped itself by giving contact with education a low priority,” she said. “There has been a lack of effort which has created an image problem. Power Up will make a difference by helping to inspire pupils who lack motivation because they simply don’t know where to start.”
Many school pupils think that a lack of A grades or a university degree will hold them back and means a business career is not attainable.
Julie Dyer, commercial manager HELLER Machine Tools Ltd said. “We need to break down walls and challenge the mind-set of children and teachers. I started my working life as a receptionist and managed to progress from there to where I am now. I was well into my 30s before I qualified as an accountant.”
She added: “Through Power Up, we are having a positive impact with the young people we are reaching and working with. I want to give something back and help them to reach their full potential.”
Simon Hyde concludes,
“We are now proactively looking for mentors who have a can-do and experience in their chosen field to come and help us make a difference for young people and also to help us find the rising stars of the future.
Find out more about Power Up by watching a five-minute video – at this link.
To discuss mentoring opportunities, email Simon Hide email@example.com