Last Thursday saw the release of London Ambitions, jointly produced by the Mayor of London, the London Enterprise Paneland London Councils, which sets out their vision for work-related learning and careers advice and guidance across the capital.
Its ambitious seven-point plan for improving London’s careers offer is an important piece of work, and demonstrates the authors’ depth of research into the challenges facing young Londoners in an increasingly skills-based and globally competitive labour market.
As an education business partnership (EBP), our purpose is to equip young people with experience and understanding of the world of work. Inspire! therefore welcomes the London Ambitions strategy as a serious effort to improve the life and career chances of local young people. We particularly appreciate its aim for every young person to receive ‘at least 100 hours experience of the world of work’ by the age of 16 – a fixed target could be a useful tool to crystallise efforts to increase young people’s exposure to the working world.
We believe that this experience and learning must start early; must involve employers and business volunteers from a diverse range of industries and backgrounds; and must address the needs of all young people, whatever their interests, ability or family situation. Success will be achieved through collaboration and it is crucial that the initiative builds on the expertise and good practice delivered by EBPs across London.
The report foregrounds the importance of engaging employers in education, and recognises that this ‘represents a significant voluntary undertaking’ and that it ‘doesn’t just happen all by itself’. Linking schools and colleges with businesses of all types and their employees is central to Inspire!’s work, and provides young people with access to a world of choices and opportunities that may otherwise have remained out of reach. The publication of this report represents a fantastic opportunity to champion this work. We hope that education business partnerships across the capital are given every opportunity to contribute their expertise to this exciting new approach, ensuring the best possible outcomes are achieved for the young people we serve.