25th January 2017, piloting in Cambridge, Manchester and London. Serial entrepreneur, philanthropist and angel investor Sherry Coutu CBE announces the pilot of Workfinder, an app-based service helping students find local work experience opportunities.
Government research reveals that students who lack a sufficient number of encounters with employers are 4 times more likely to become NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training). Students often find valuable work experience through their parents, putting those who are from deprived backgrounds at a disadvantage.
Workfinder levels the playing field by helping all students prepare for the world of work - by working! The service launches within a climate in which 82% of scale-up companies report that they could grow their company faster if the people who applied to them had the specific skills they needed. Additionally, the CBI lists low levels of skills in the workforce as the single biggest perceived threat to UK competitiveness in the next five years.
“Inspiring school children through good work experience forms a key bridge between education and the world of opportunities out there. We know how important closing the attainment gap is to our long-term economic prosperity, so it’s fantastic that apps like Workfinder give businesses a new and innovative way to connect with students all across the UK. Well done to founders4schools for coming up with such a pioneering idea”. - commented Paul Drechsler, CBI President
To date, the parent company of Workfinder, Founders4Schools, has helped generate 130,000 meaningful student-employer encounters in classrooms, auditoria and workplace visits. Teachers use f4s services to invite local business leaders to encounters with students including speed mentoring, mock interviews and workplace visits. Workfinder is a further effort to transform social mobility and close the skills gap between schools and the workplace.
“We welcome the Founders4Schools initiative to drive more work experience opportunities across the UK for young people. Our experience from running the LifeSkills programme shows us that young people need a practical insight into the world of work which is vital for the workforce of tomorrow to gain the confidence and valuable skills needed by employers both today and in the future. We know the more interventions that a young person has with employers at an early age, the more likely they are to succeed in their careers,” stated Ashok Vaswani, CEO, Barclays UK
“High growth companies are struggling to find young talent with the right skills, and students without access to a professional network are unable to find valuable work experience. Workfinder is levelling the playing field and closing the skills gap.” - announced Sherry Coutu CBE, Chairman, Founders4Schools
For more information contact:
Joe McRoberts, Head of Marketing
+44(0)7947 194 542