March has been another action-packed month at the Jobs Foundation, as we continue building and growing the charity.

Our President, Lord Elliott, spoke at a busy careers fair, discussing our founding mission and meeting businesses who help people get on the first rung of their career ladder. We held several events, including a successful breakfast with Andy Silvester, Editor of CityAM, and we visited a few businesses across the country, including the Pembroke Refinery in Wales. 

In April, we will be holding our first online event with Jamie Wise, a renowned venture capitalist and angel investor, who has a keen eye for the startups who are creating the jobs of tomorrow. A link to register for the event is at the bottom of this newsletter. We will also be visiting businesses in Hartlepool, as part of our foundational research. If you know of any businesses in the North East you think we should speak to, please do get in touch.

Having completed a very productive Q1, we have exciting plans for Q2. But in the meantime, we hope that you, like us, have plans for an enjoyable and restful Easter weekend. 

Best wishes,

Georgiana Bristol

CEO, Jobs Foundation

Our trip to the Pembroke refinery

embroke refinery opened in 1964, one of a number of refineries to be built on the Milford Haven Waterway during the 1960s and 1970s. The Labour MP at the time, a political maverick named Desmond Donnelly, called the development of the oil and gas sector as “the rebirth of Pembrokeshire”, creating huge numbers of jobs in a region that badly needed them. 

That legacy still exists today, with the refinery supporting hundreds of highly-skilled, well-paid jobs in Pembrokeshire and across South West Wales. In particular, we significantly invest in the next generation of workers, with opportunities through world-class apprenticeship and student bursary schemes.

Every year a new cohort of apprentices are recruited from the local, Pembrokeshire community. Balancing their studies at Pembrokeshire College in Haverfordwest alongside working on site, these apprentices gain incredibly valuable skills in operations, maintenance, instrumentation and electrical engineering that will last a lifetime. The student bursary scheme sees undergraduates from top UK universities earn as they learn during summer holidays and a full sandwich year of employment, with the specialisation in chemical and mechanical engineering.

The Jobs Foundation went out to the refinery to see first-hand the sort of training schemes they operate. It inspired us to do a larger report on Pembrokeshire in full, visiting businesses across the country in our quest to map best business and hiring practice. If you have anyone in Pembrokeshire you think the Jobs Foundation ought to speak to, please get in touch by emailing us at

Our first careers fair

​In late-March, the Jobs Foundation attended its first careers fair, hosted by property developers and operators, 4C Group. Established in 2010, 4C Group manages and develops properties and hotels across the UK, Middle East, East Africa and Canada, and has grown exponentially throughout its fourteen years. We were joined by numerous other businesses, such as the InterContinental Hotels Group and Canopy, who were all equally passionate about the benefits of employment.

To kick start the day, Matthew gave a fifteen-minute talk on the Jobs Foundation and its mission, and spoke eloquently of the need for more individuals to champion the crucial role played by businesses in Britain. The positivity of his speech was reflected in the atmosphere of the room, as all the attendees were equally optimistic of the opportunities brought through employment and the sense of purpose that it brings.

Afterwards, Matthew held a Q&A session, and it was encouraging to see the audience actively engage with the discussion and express an interest in learning more about the Jobs Foundation. We were able to continue these conversations throughout the day, and by speaking to a variety of businesses and job-hunters, we were able to both inform them of our work and gain useful insight into their perspective of attitudes toward businesses in Britain.

Overall, the day was highly successful, and we were incredibly fortunate to meet hundreds of new faces, and hopefully new friends of the Jobs Foundation. Of course, we must say a very big thank you to 4C Group for hosting us at the event, as opportunities like these are so crucial to the Jobs Foundation’s aspiration of reaching 1000 Business Council members by the year’s end. With this in mind, we encourage our supporters to let us know if they come across any similar events that we could attend, as we always appreciate occasions to spread awareness of our mission and meet new potential supporters.

Breakfast with City AM’s Andy Silvester

The Jobs Foundation hosted our second monthly breakfast on the morning of February 28th, this one featuring as its guest speaker Andy Silvester, the editor of City AM.

Andy talked about how Labour is working with the City to develop its policy platform for government, and whether the voice and interests of business will be heard as we enter a busy General Election year.

Andy felt that the size of Labour’s victory will greatly influence the degree to which they will be able to be a pro-business government. With a large majority, Starmer and Reeves can pretty much call the shots on business strategy; a thin one means they could find themselves at the mercy of their backbenchers and a shift back towards the left in economic terms. He also speculated that Labour might be focusing too much on “corporate Britain”, involving themselves in talks with big business at the expense of “enterprise Britain”, those small and medium sized enterprises spread throughout the country.

There was an expression of worry from Andy around what he sees as the luddite tendencies of SW1, with too much fear around tech and in particular AI within the corridors of Whitehall, and not enough grasping of opportunities while they still exist. 

Several questions from attendees were around Labour’s proposed upscaling of workers’ rights and how this might lead to business doing less hiring, or at least, avoiding the sorts of risky hires that can often lead people out of poverty. Again, Andy felt that the ability of Labour to listen to businesses on this topic will be greatly shaped by how many MPs they have after the general election.

Online discussion with entrepreneur Jamie Wise – April 17th

On Wednesday, 17th April at 12pm, we are excited to be hosting a webinar with renowned venture capitalist and angel investor, James Wise. James has worked with some of the most successful technology companies of the last decade as they have grown to billion-dollar companies, with specialisms in AI and health-tech. James has recently published a book, “Start-Up Century: Why we’re all becoming entrepreneurs – and how to make it work for everyone”, and is regularly featured in the media, writing and speaking about the challenges and opportunities of new technologies.

We would love to welcome you for an insightful discussion and Q&A reflecting on why new businesses are being launched in record numbers, what it will mean to live in a world where more and more are self-employed, how new technologies will transform existing businesses, and the ideas and policies that can help close the digital divide and make our public services more innovative and efficient. 

To RSVP, please sign up with this link here.

Our business owner of the month – Kate from ExpHand

Every month in the newsletter, we will be focusing on one particular organisation that we feel is a great example of business as a societal good.

Kate runs a company called ExpHand. They make three prosthetic products that can grow with someone’s body. Using 3D printers, ExpHand can manufacture on the go, on demand. Anywhere in the world, so long as you’ve got a plug socket. 

They are currently doing a trial in Kenya, with a view to officially launch the final product this summer. Their aim is to change the landscape for prosthetics so that they are both affordable and adjustable. 

The impact that the right prosthesis can have on a young life can be immense – both from a practical standpoint and an emotional one. To have available a product that can adapt to a young person’s growing body, forgoing the need to constantly be having to both change prosthetics as well as never having them fit entirely properly, will change thousands of people’s lives for the better. 

Read all of Kate’s story on our website.