Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster (BECBC) has announced a new contract with Inspira, the Workington-based career management and personal development organisation. Inspira will deliver the second phase of the award-winning Business and Schools Collaboration Project across Copeland and Allerdale during 2018 on behalf of the Business Cluster and its membership.
“Members of the Socio Economic Sector Group of the Business Cluster have been investing tremendous energy and enthusiasm in the development of this Project,” says BECBC Board member, Dave Henderson of Shepley Engineers, “culminating in it being presented with a Special Recognition Award at the BECBC Business Awards in November. As it moves into its next phase, we went out to tender for an organisation that could help to grow and develop it to have even more impact for Cumbrian young people. Given their networks, expertise and experience, we’re delighted to announce Inspira as the successful candidate.”
Phil Bennett of Wood plc leads the Socio Economic Sector Group: “In the past 18 months, we’ve involved 100 different BECBC member companies in events and collaborations in local schools with over 1400 students having direct contact with businesses. We’ve not invented anything particularly new or unusual but we’ve made it easy for schools to ask for support and we’ve enabled businesses to understand schools’ needs and get involved with a minimum of effort and fuss.”
BECBC has done this with a calendar of school events on its website, the creation of a simple presentation and workshop activity, the Constellation of Opportunities, that company representatives can adapt and deliver to different groups of young people and a broad involvement in existing events and activities in the area’s schools.
“The Constellation of Opportunities material means that company representatives can tell the bigger story beyond their own company as consistently as possible,” says Phil, “and it means that we’ve a channel to show the wide range of jobs and careers on offer. It’s not only about sciences, technology and engineering but all sorts of other professions and ideas too.”
“This collaboration is all about developing awareness and aspirations through encounters with enterprise,” he continues. “We’ve some really good stories to tell across Cumbria and amazing young people just waiting to be inspired.”
Following a kick-off meeting early in January, Deborah Naylor, Area Operations Manager for Inspira, is taking the lead on working with Phil and a BECBC project team to deliver successful collaborations between business and schools in the months to come.
“Young people’s future aspirations are hugely affected by their experiences of work and contacts with businesses,” says Deborah, “and the Business and Schools Collaboration project is all about enabling as many useful contacts as possible. It’s exciting to be delivering on behalf of the Business Cluster as the 320 or so member companies are all being encouraged to get involved. Together we can make a big difference in the coming year.”
Any company wishing to get involved or make a financial contribution to the project can find out more here.
The project is open to member and non-member companies with an aim of involving as many Cumbrian employers as possible.
Support has already come from Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Kaefer, Mace, Morgan Sindall, NNL, Sellafield Ltd, United Utilities and Wood plc.
Photo: BECBC and Inspira representatives after the January kick-off meeting
LtoR Dave Henderson (Shepley Engineers and BECBC Vice Chairman), David Leadbetter, Deborah Naylor, Daniel Carter (all Inspira), Phil Bennett (BECBC Socio Economic Group lead) Luke Richardson and Neil Watson (both Wood plc). Not shown: Stuart McCourt (Sellafield Ltd)