A school gymnasium packed with hundreds of teenagers might not be everyone’s ideal place to spend an evening, but for seven Chamber members it was recently their Wednesday night destination of choice.
Marking Young Chamber’s first major activity of the autumn term, Croydon Chamber members, Andall Legal, The HR Dept, Scaramanga Marketing and Coversure Croydon joined forces with LCCI members, Capita Asset Services, MACS Plasterboards and IMSM to meet with students and talk about opportunities in their industry at the Woodcote High School careers convention. Each year Woodcote teams up with fellow Croydon schools, Riddlesdown Collegiate and Oasis Academy Coulsdon, to provide their 1500 Year 10 to 13 students – 14 to 18 year olds – with the opportunity to meet with businesses, education providers and public sector organisations such as the armed forces and the Metropolitan Police to help shape their thinking as they make important choices about their GCSE and A level options and their potential future career paths.
Fintan O’Toole, LCCI board member and director of The HR Dept, noted the steady stream of young people who were keen to learn more about the world of business. “Young Chamber is a fabulous way for Chamber members to genuinely add value to their local community and I’d encourage others to get involved.”
London Young Chamber is developing apace with eight schools now recruited across Croydon and its neighbouring borough Sutton, each looking for support from Chamber members to help prepare their young people for life beyond the school gates. Topping the schools’ wish lists are providing inspirational business speakers; business people meeting students at careers fairs and conducting mock interviews. To fulfill their needs we are looking for members willing to devote a little time to supporting us in our Young Chamber schools. Just a couple of hours can make a real difference to students in helping them to better understand the wealth of career options available as they begin to plan their future.
Currently piloting in and around the Croydon area with the invaluable support of the Croydon Chamber Committee and the Commercial Education Trust (see box left), London Young Chamber will look to expand to other parts of the capital in the months ahead. We welcome participation from our members, however large or small, as we strive to genuinely move the dial in promoting business and enterprise through education.
Croydon Chamber of Commerce chair and Solicitor at Andall Legal, Nicolina Andall commented: “The Chamber committee was honoured to be asked to lead the Young Chamber pilot in London. Many of us already support local schools in the area and Young Chamber is a great way for us to co-ordinate this and introduce other members to the concept. We are looking forward to working with the London Chamber team as it plans to expand across other parts of London.”
If you want to get involved with Young Chamber contact project consultant Helen Gray, 020 7203 1892, firstname.lastname@example.org