The initiative, which will involve a range of events and activities across the year, comes after BCCC identified a current lack of opportunities for young people in education to become involved in businesses in their local area.
Today’s young people are the employees, business people and consumer market of the future and BCCC believes it is vital that there is an effective mechanism in place for ensuring their views are heard. The newly established Young Chamber Committee will meet three times a year to be consulted on areas such as economic and political issues, careers guidance, personal development and Chamber of Commerce activities.
The first committee meeting took place on Wednesday 25 January and included students from Highfields School, Q3 Academy Great Barr, University of Wolverhampton, Walsall Academy and Windsor High School & Sixth Form Academy.
The highly successful meeting was chaired by Grant Mace, an undergraduate student at University of Wolverhampton, who said: “When I was asked to chair the Young Chamber Committee, I saw this as a wonderful opportunity to further the engagement between local business and the next generation of employees within the region. As a student of the University of Wolverhampton as well as being an employee within the Careers and Enterprise department, I recognise the importance of developing employability and interpersonal skills through the development of students during their academic studies.
“During the meeting, I was captivated to see such focus from the student ambassadors on what they felt is missing from careers guidance provision in schools, and the ways to create relationships with local businesses in order to make work experience a more valuable and rewarding experience that caters for each individual student’s needs. I’m really looking forward to seeing how the Young Chamber Committee develops and flourishes over the next twelve months. It’s a really exciting opportunity.”
Following on from this, Q3 Academies Trust in partnership with the Black Country Chamber of Commerce is organising a careers speed networking event to raise aspirations and employability skills by showcasing as many occupations as possible to students. The event will take place on the morning of Monday 27 March at Q3 Academy Great Barr.
Corin Crane, Chief Executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, said, “It is now time for businesses to support young people and inspire them to work in their particular industry. The Careers Speed Networking is a really interesting way of businesses engaging with young people, and provides a fun and informative way of finding out potential career options for the students. I urge local businesses to take part and shape the future workforce. I was delighted by the enthusiasm of the Young Chamber Committee and I am looking forward to future conversations and ideas.”
Think Sandwell wishes the Young Chamber all the best for what will no doubt be an exciting year ahead. Keep an eye on our events calendar for forthcoming activities and let us know if you’re organising a business event so we can help publicise it.