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It’s our responsibility

16 April 2019

Bell Consultancy has provided HR support, advice and guidance to small organisations since 1996. Over the years, Director, Paula Grayson has worked with multiple businesses, across multiple industries, finding that there is a common problem for most organisations.

“It’s our responsibility to upskill the future workforce”

Paula identified that all her client organisations are struggling to find young people with the skills they need for the future.

“They tell me some young people simply don’t have the ‘real’ world of work knowledge needed to progress into employment.”

“When the opportunity arose to join the Enterprise Adviser Network, I couldn’t say no. It’s our responsibility as businesses to work alongside schools to develop the future workforce.”

“Career awareness needs to be embedded within the curriculum. Anything we can contribute makes a difference.”

As an Enterprise Adviser, Paula has worked with the Careers Leader at Biddenham International School and Sports College, to ensure that the careers plan, like a business plan, sets out their vision, desired outcomes, communications and programme as part of the curriculum. Through Inspiring the Future and SEMLEP requests, Paula has also contributed to a range of careers events at other local schools.

“Working directly with the students is when you can see the difference you can make. I’ve participated in mentoring, mock interviews, careers fairs and a speed networking activity, where teams of students had 10 minutes to ask questions about my job and why I enjoy the role, before trying to guess what I did. You can see the students connecting the dots between education and careers.”

“Stereotypes have been washed away”

Through this experience, Paula has gained an in-depth understanding of the future workforce.

“To support Biddenham and local businesses, I have introduced them to each other, giving the two the opportunity to work together. These contacts can give the students a better understanding of the ‘world of work’ and give businesses the opportunity to develop the future workforce using their expertise.”

“Working with schools has reduced my stereotypes. It’s made me more optimistic about the future. We read that people are being encouraged to work well into retirement age due to organisations believing there is a lack of skills in young-people, but it’s our responsibility to work with schools to make a difference. There are hundreds of bright young people in our area that just need a gentle steer.”


What would your advice be for another SME thinking of giving an hour?

“Just do it. The one thing I hear is that everyone is short of time, but this opportunity is decidedly worth your time.”


Benefit your future workforce by giving an hour.

Give an hour

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