Wishing you a Happy Christmas from the Jobs Foundation
I hope many of you recently received our Christmas Card in the post. Lottie (daughter of Matthew) Elliott’s superb depiction of Father Christmas is a reminder that this time of year is all about taking a break with family. And a break we need, because 2023 has proven to be a whirlwind of excitement, hard work, and forging new ground for all of us here at the Jobs Foundation. I must confess I rather yearn for Father Christmas’s efficiency in delivering all the children’s presents in one night!
Indeed, 2023 has been a tremendous year. It started with the publication of our Perceptions of Business polling report in January. Our polling reinforced our concern that while the British public likes the idea of SMEs, jobs, and prosperity, they were somewhat sceptical of CEOs, corporates, and capitalism. Our President Matthew Elliott wrote in The Critic magazine, “Businesses must also work to rehumanise themselves. Currently, almost no emotional connection exists in the public’s consideration of business. It’s no surprise then that my research shows that almost two-thirds of the public (64 per cent) want businesses to know more and talk more about their people.” The polling is absolutely clear, that by focussing on job creation, training opportunities, and reminding people of their huge tax contribution, many will realise that businesses are a force for good.
In May, the Jobs Foundation received charitable status from the Charity Commission. This had been a long process, but it was worthwhile. Our charitable status cements our mission – championing business as a force for good and ensuring Britain is a place where businesses can flourish so that they can continue to be an effective tool for poverty alleviation.
In July we publicly launched as a charity. We were delighted to receive coverage across the board in The Sunday Times, TheSun, The Daily Telegraph and City AM.Our trustee Simon Boyd (CEO, REIDsteel) wrote in the DorsetBiz News and friend of the Jobs Foundation Carl Richardson (Partner, Richardsons Capital LLP) wrote in the Express and Star. In August we were delighted to see some of our Advisory Council members write in some of Britain’s best known regional publications. Jago Pearson (Chief Strategy Officer, Finnebrogue Artisan) wrote in The Irish News on the importance of a good job for young people, and Judith Donovan CBE wrote in the Yorkshire Post about her own experience running a business. The soft launch was followed by a launch reception in September. We hosted several hundred friends and supporters at the RSA where Secretary of State for Education Gillian Keegan MP and the RSA’s CEO Andy Haldane CBE delivered remarks.
That autumn the team embarked on trips around the country to meet businesses, charities, and supporters who share in our mission. Some of the businesses we have met over the last couple of months have included SSE plc, DCS Group, The Bristol Port Company, Here East, Barclays, the Davies Group, Toscafund, and many others. We have also taken time to meet with representatives of the charitable sector, who do so much to connect people with work opportunities across Britain.
In November our President Matthew delivered a ground-breaking lecture at the Legatum Institute entitled ‘In Praise of Business’. He criticised a UK specific scepticism of entrepreneurs and business people. Matthew went on to defend the business community as the ultimate drivers of economic and social progress. Later that month Fraser Nelson delivered the keynote speech at the Jobs Foundation annual dinner, in which he rallied around the vital role of business as the primary creator of jobs in the UK economy.
As the year draws to a close, we are delighted to report that the Jobs Foundation Business Council continues to grow. It has now reached several hundred members. Our team is growing too with the new additions joining in the New Year. It is with excitement and optimism that we embark on 2024.
I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope you enjoy time off with family and friends. And I look forward to seeing you in 2024, raring to go in pursuit of our mission to make the case that business is a force for good!
CEO, The Jobs Foundation
Meet our December intern: Oliver Dean
The Jobs Foundation welcomed this December a fantastic first intern through our doors. Oliver Dean is currently studying History and Politics at the London School of Economics. He hails from Swindon originally, and recently led the campaign to get a first year undergraduate elected as President of the Student Union (the first time a first year student won that election and with more than 200 votes). At the Jobs Foundation Oliver has been helping with preparations for the 2024 research programme. As is now the tradition, we subjected Oliver to a quick fire round of questions:
JF: What is your favourite book?
OD: The Secret Life of Special Advisers, Peter Cardwell
JF: What was the last restaurant you visited (and what did you order)?
OD: Pizza Hut and I had a shared pepperoni pizza
JF: Strictly Come Dancing or I’m a Celebrity?
OD: The lesser of the two evils is I’m a Celeb, though I’m not a major fan of either.
JF: Where was your first job?
OD: Peer Advocate at the Swindon Borough Council
JF: What is special about the Jobs Foundation?
OD: The Jobs Foundation is special because of the role of its Business Council. It serves as a way for business leaders up and down the country to unify and demonstrate that business has a positive impact on society. No other organisation has managed something quite like this. I am excited to see what it achieves next year.
JF: What are you most excited about in 2024?
OD: As a bit of an elections nerd, all of the elections that are occurring in 2024 are what I am most excited about. Specifically, both the UK General Election and the US Presidential Election.
JF: Who inspires you the most?
OD: My dad. He always taught me that if you keep your head down, work hard and remain ambitious you can make something of your life. This mantra has served me throughout my life, and will continue to do so.
Ben and Georgia from The Bristol Port Company
Stories are important at the Jobs Foundation. Everyone has a story about their job, career, or business, that is unique to them. These unique stories should be celebrated, because each encapsulates an individuals commitment to their job, their clients, customers, and wider society. In that vein, we have recently published the stories of two workers at The Bristol Port Company, Georgia and Ben. Read below about what motivates them, why they love their job, and what they want young people, embarking on a career, to know.
Georgia: “I am just 21 years old and have been at The Bristol Port Company for about 18 months. It has been, without a doubt, the most exciting 18 months of my life. The day goes fast, and I look forward to coming into work every morning…” (you can read the rest here).
Ben: “I went to a local school in Shirehampton, just a few miles from where I currently work. I have always been one to push, to get as many qualifications as I can, and do my absolute best. I was delighted to get all my GCSEs. I also got a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, which has served me well at work because I am now the DoE point person at the Port.
My Dad works at The Bristol Port Company, as does my Uncle, and indeed my Grandfather. The reason this company feels like a family is because most of us are family. It made sense for me to come and work here. So I got an apprenticeship (the company do an amazing job promoting apprenticeships) as an engineer, which has given me the opportunity to learn a huge amount while earning and getting my foot on the career ladder…” … (you can read the rest here).