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 lastminute.com 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