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Entrepreneurs and business leaders throw support behind Sherry Coutu’s work experience platform

Business leaders came out in force this morning to support a pledge created by Workfinder, a new platform to match ambitious young people with work experience opportunities across the country. Workfinder has been created by Sherry Coutu CBE and the team at Founders4Schools in a bid to inspire the next generation and create a pipeline of talent for growing businesses.

Entrepreneurs such as Cobra Beer founder Lord Bilimoria, Unruly co-founder Sarah Wood and co-founder Baroness Martha Lane Fox, signed the pledge – committing to offering meaningful work experience placements to young people across the UK.

This came as Coutu and The Scale-up Institute launched the latest Scale-up Review, which found that 93 per cent of scale-ups report they that access to talent is either “vital” or “very important” for their continued growth.

Indeed, the UK is facing a serious skills gap. The CBI has listed low levels of skills in the workforce as the single biggest perceived threat to UK competitiveness.

By giving young people access to opportunities at great, growing companies in every corner of the UK, it is hoped Workfinder can start to solve some of the challenges at the heart of the skills crisis.

Business leaders that have signed the pledge

Baroness Lane Fox of Soho CBE

Sir Tom Hunter, Chairman of West Coast Capital and The Hunter Foundation txE

Damian Kimmelman, Co-founder and CEO, Duedil

Lord Bilimoria CBE DL, Chairman, Cobra Beer

Robert Marshall, Group CEO, Marshall Aerospace

Tim Smith, CEO, Thames Valley Berkshire

Dr. Sue Black OBE, Founder, Tech Mums

Caroline Diehl MBE, Founder & Chairman, Community Channel

Russ Shaw, Founder, Tech London Advocates

Xavier Rolet, CEO, London Stock Exchange Group

Danny Lopez, COO, Blippar

Sarah Wood OBE, Founder, Unruly

Dr Eben Upton CBE, CEO, Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd

Rohan Silva, Co-founder, Second Home

Debbie Wosskow OBE, Co-founder, AllBright

Jessica Butcher, Co-founder, Blippar

Melanie Lawson, Founder, Bare Biology

Naheed Afzal, Co-founder, Contracts IT

Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO, Azuri

Sofia Fenichell, CEO and Founder, Mrs Wordsmith

Richard Harrington, CEO, Thames Valley Buckinghamshire

Susie Cummings, Founder and CEO, Nurole

Gemma Young, Co-founder and CEO, Settled

Jack Parsons, Award winning young entrepreneur

Claire Martinsen, Founder, Breckland Orchard

Julie Walters, Founder, Raremark

Hannah Tomlinson, Evolve Consultancy

Mandip Rai, CEO, Leicester LEP

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