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Our

programmes

We’ve spoken to young people, their families, schools, employers and many others who support children and young people in Bedford. They all tell us our young people really struggle to work out what to do when they leave school or college and to find rewarding jobs locally. It’s even more of a problem for children whose families and communities don’t have connections to a wide range of employers and opportunities.

Our

programmes

We’ve spoken to young people, their families, schools, employers and many others who support children and young people in Bedford. They all tell us our young people really struggle to work out what to do when they leave school or college and to find rewarding jobs locally. It’s even more of a problem for children whose families and communities don’t have connections to a wide range of employers and opportunities.

Digging deeper into the problem, we’ve looked at the careers and guidance offers for young people in Bedford. We’ve talked to people who provide and use these services about what’s missing and how gaps could be met with new local solutions.

Two things kept coming up;

A need for one-to-one tailored support to help young people realise just what they can achieve and plan a route for achieving that.

A lack of opportunities for young people to gain real work experience which shows them opportunities outside their immediate network and home environment.

Our focus is always on approaches which have a strong evidence base for success.  

We’ve talked to experts across Bedfordshire and beyond, read countless reports and tested our thoughts on local people who really understand the issues. As a result we are piloting two programmes with secondary schools in the borough where students will particularly benefit from some external help.

We hope to grow the number of schools we work with as Bedford Giving progresses.

Mentoring

We are working with a local social enterprise to deliver a career mentoring scheme for year 9 and 10 students. The programme will recruit, train and support early career mentors from the local business community to work with students to:

Raise aspirations and expand horizons

Introduce students to the world of work

Increase employability

Set and achieve realistic goals for education or work

Tackle any issues holding them back

The mentoring programme is based on the East London Business Alliance (ELBA) Mentoring Works programme.

High quality work experience

Research shows young people are 86 per cent more likely to be in employment or training if they have four or more contacts with employers before leaving school.  

For each additional type of work experience, future annual earnings increase by £1,088. But often finding work experience is the student’s responsibility, and that’s hard if your family has limited contacts. Businesses tell us they’d be interested in offering work experience, but no one has asked them.

That’s why we are working closely with the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership’s (SEMLEP) Careers Hub and with the national Careers & Enterprise Company to develop this programme to promote and increase local opportunities for in-person experience of the workplace. Bedford Giving will engage with and support local businesses to increase the supply.

Parent Panel Grant Making Programme

We brought a group of local parents from across Bedford together to form a Parent Panel. They told us loud and clear about gaps in services and opportunities for children under eight and their parents, and we given them a pot of money to help them do something about it. They then have devised a grants programme, all about meeting those gaps. 

We’re now looking for NEW members to join second Parent Panel to devise a Grants Programme looking into the issues of under 5s in Bedford Borough.