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28 September, 2016 - 12:05 By Tony Quested

Cambridge tops UK for student-entrepreneur engagement

sherry coutu, schools, founders4schools, entrepreneurs, teachers

Greater Cambridge & Peterborough was revealed as the top district in the UK for engagement between schools and business entrepreneurs at a high profile ceremony at the House of Lords.

Cambridge entrepreneur Sherry Coutu has trumpeted the triumph for Cambridge as part of her Founders4Schools (F4S) initiative.

She said: “We have 355 business leaders involved in Greater Cambridge & Greater Peterborough and are pleased to report that 87 of them have already accepted teachers' invitations to visit their classrooms to help improve their students employability.

“This is three times what the nearest contender has done when it comes to Local Enterprise Partnerships.

“As an ambassador for student employability, F4S is proud to have facilitated 104,536 student-employer encounters having helped 197 teachers place 703 business leaders in their classrooms to talk to students about the jobs they might hold or create in the future.”

Greater Cambridge & Peterborough LEP leads the nation with 19,946 student-entrepreneur encounters – that’s 1,149 per 100,000; the second placed region, Dorset has 477 encounters per 1,000.

The House of Lords event saw a group of the most forward-thinking teachers from across the UK presented with special awards by Founders4Schools and Lord Holmes of Richmond to recognise the work they are doing to inspire young people with regard to ‘the jobs of tomorrow.’

Lizzie Taylor, head of careers at Comberton Village College in Cambridge received the Employability Community of the Year Award presented by Jane Galvin from Barclays with congratulations from Lord Holmes. Comberton is the number one school in Cambridgeshire for its employability efforts.

Coutu added: “With three times the number of jobs coming from small businesses growing quickly than from big companies, it is easy to understand why careers advice is such a priority for local authorities and LEPS.

“We are thrilled that the Careers and Enterprise Company chose Founders4Schools as a delivery partner in all 39 LEPS and their 1000 enterprise advisers are briefed about how Founders4Schools can help them boost their student’s attainment and their school’s STEM attainment.

“When asked which place, or ‘community’ could be celebrated as an example of ‘how and what to do’, there was a really clear winner – which is Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough LEP.”

Congratulations were also offered to Stepping into Business and Form the Future, partners in making employability encounters happen in Cambridgeshire.

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