Below is the September edition of our monthly newsletter. The newsletter is sent out to Business Council members and friends of the Jobs Foundation. You can find out more about the Business Council here.
Now help us build the business coalition
We have taken a big step since you last heard from us – we have now formally debuted into society with a special launch reception. We were fortunate to have the Secretary of State for Education Gillian Keegan MP, and Chief Executive of the RSA, Andy Haldane (former Chief Economist at the Bank of England and “sandwich generation” standard bearer), as our excellent guest speakers.
Matthew and I have worked on the Jobs Foundation for nearly two years, and there is something wonderful about starting to see all the many people engaged with our project – passionate on the role of business as a force for good – stand together as one. A special moment to mark.
Of course, now the race starts – but it couldn’t be with a better group of people, from all walks of life and business, coming together to make the vital case that a successful society requires successful businesses.
It is worth noting, that this view of business is not widely held – sadly – so the Jobs Foundation has a challenge ahead. But in the good words of Edmund Spenser from The Faerie Queene:
“For whatsoever from one place doth fall,
is with the tide unto another brought:
For there is nothing lost, that may be found, if sought.”
So please (if you haven’t already) join our Business Council here and encourage your friends to do the same.
CEO, The Jobs Foundation
The Jobs Foundation launch
On Tuesday 12th September, we hosted our official launch. 150 friends, former colleagues, trustees, members of the Business Council and Advisory Council joined us in the Great Room at the RSA (Royal Society for Arts, Manufacturing and Commerce).
We welcomed representatives from across the business community, from energy to banking, insurance, communications, property, manufacturing and retail. A fantastic mix of businesses were represented including JCB, SSE, Daisy Green, Killik and Co, DCS Group, Fluid IT, and Marsh McLennan.
Secretary of State for Education Gillian Keegan MP was the guest speaker. Gillian began her career in the business world, and she regularly talks about how important the business sector is in guiding her work at the Department for Education. During her speech, she talked about the lack of job opportunities for girls like her growing up in Liverpool. She spoke about how a business with the offer of an apprenticeship gave her the opportunity to get on in life. Talking about the Jobs Foundation she said, “Now this is in my DNA – if you’ve heard my life journey, you’ll know that businesses are a force for good, they changed everything for me, they gave me opportunity.”
Andy Haldane, Chief Executive of the RSA also delivered some remarks. He talked about the history of the RSA and the role of business in achieving societal progress: “the wellspring of our revolution was built on the power of business to do good, to drive social innovation, to drive societal progress and, 270 years on, that remains our job and the job of business today.”
President of the Jobs Foundation Matthew Elliott and CEO Georgiana Bristol also delivered short remarks. Matthew talked about his motivation for getting involved, recalling his experience of businesses going ‘above and beyond’ for customers and staff during the Covid-19 pandemic. Georgiana talked about our aspirations for the coming months, specifically the hope to sign up 500 Business Council members by Christmas.
If you want to learn more about the Business Council, please click this link here.
Flora Mackinnon joins the Jobs Foundation as Outreach Assistant
The team at the Jobs Foundation is growing. This month we welcomed Flora Mackinnon as our Outreach Assistant. Flora recently graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a First in History and Politics. She will be responsible for supporting the senior leadership team with the Business Council, specifically recruiting new members and supporting existing members. As part of her introduction we subjected (poor!) Flora to a quick fire round of questions:
JF: What is your favourite book?
Flora: It’s got to be the Secret History by Donna Tartt.
JF: What was the last restaurant you visited (and what did you order)?
Flora: Manteca in Shoreditch, and I recommend ordering the Brown Crab Cacio Pepe.
JF: Roger Federer or Rafa Nadal?
Flora: Rafa always…. I’m a huge tennis fan.
JF: Where was your first job?
Flora: I interned at the Jobs Foundation last summer!
JF: Why did you join the Jobs Foundation?
Flora: I really enjoyed working here last summer and learnt so much. I loved the idea of joining you full time and helping them execute the vision that was in development last year.
JF: Where do you see the Jobs Foundation in 5 years time?
Flora: With firmly established Regional Councils, bi-yearly events or conferences attended by business people and entrepreneurs from across the UK, and a thriving Business Council comprised of thousands of business leaders.
JF: Who inspires you?
Flora: My best friend, Caitlin… she is frighteningly talented.
Learning from businesses and charities on the front line
A huge part of our job is meeting businesses and charities that help people into work and out of poverty. Their stories are often incredible and hugely informative.
Last week President of the Jobs Foundation Matthew Elliott and Director Patrick Spencer visited HERE EAST, a science and tech campus with a mandate to drive social and economic change locally. It started by converting disused warehouses in Hackney that had previously been used by broadcasters for the 2012 Olympics. Investors wanted to create a place where innovative organisations would come and thrive, but also drive social change in the local community.
Today HERE EAST hosts companies such as Ford Mobility, Matches Fashion, Fiit, as well as UCL, and Staffordshire University London. In the process of building this incredible campus, they have helped create more than 6,000 new jobs and generated more than £600 million in GVA locally.
CEO Gavin Poole took both Matthew and Patrick on a tour of the facility. He emphasised that this was more than a property business, HERE EAST wanted to be part of an economic resurgence in the local community. He said “Without jobs you cannot make a difference to people’s lives and the general trajectory of the area.”
This week Matthew and Patrick travelled to Sheffield to meet Ben Wollard, CEO of Together for Sheffield to learn more about their Ascend Programme. Ascend describes itself as “a service designed to help you meet your business goals, while also providing valuable opportunities to local young adults.” In short, they work with businesses to end youth unemployment in Sheffield by pairing businesses with young people out of work and supporting those people with their transition in to work.
Ben introduced the team from the Jobs Foundation to S4S Dental Laboratory and Mobile Power where Matthew was able to present them with a certificate marking their achievement as a business that has helped reduce youth unemployment. Both have had huge success taking committed young people from the Ascend programme. Both commented on the positive impact of taking on local people who really wanted to become part of a business, learn and development their skill sets. We also had a chance to meet some young people who had recently graduated from the Ascend programme and had secured permanent contracts at local companies. Finally we dropped by the Hope Centre, where an old factory has been converted in to a community hub housing a food bank, a childcare setting and some rentable offices.
Matthew and Patrick had a good opportunity to ask business leaders what conditions they needed most to prosper, whether support to take on more staff was lacking, and if the policy environment could be improved to help their business grow. We heard stories of difficulty navigating regulation, concern over the work-readiness of people coming through both the education and welfare system, as well as real appreciation for the importance of networking between businesses. Another consistent theme was the belief that business and entrepreneurs could make a real difference to the economy and people’s prosperity.
We want to hear from more amazing businesses and charities, and learn from them on what works to boost employment and opportunity in the community. So if you have a story that you want to tell, please contact our Director Patrick Spencer on firstname.lastname@example.org.