Business in the Community’s (BITC) mission is for business to play its part so that every child, particularly those facing social disadvantage, achieves in education, leading to a successful working life, thriving in business.

We ask all businesses across the UK to support disadvantaged young people in education through long-term, needs-led collaborative partnerships. Business needs to support schools and education to ensure young people have the knowledge and skills they need to thrive. 

Key facts:

  • There are 4.6 million children in the UK living in poverty1 .
  • Businesses report that they struggle to recruit school and college leavers with the essential skills needed for work2.


Our Objectives

Helping every business support young people to develop the essential skills they need to succeed in the workplace

Essential Skills are the skills we all need to thrive in education, work and life and are proving to be ones heavily required in a time of crisis.³ They are highly transferable skills like communication, problem solving and teamwork. They are not innate and can be developed throughout our lives and can’t be automated out.⁴ We want business to embed essential skills in their work with schools by using the Skills Builder Universal Framework.

We are asking education providers and the skills community to: 

  • recognise and communicate the importance of essential skills to rebuilding our economy after Covid-19 with a focus on people and not leaving anyone behind
  • embed the Skills Builder Universal Framework across their work and throughout their pre -employment, recruitment and learning and development activities. 

Find out more about our Essential Skills campaign.

Connecting and supporting leaders from schools and businesses and training school careers leaders

BITC asks that businesses use their expertise to support school leaders to tackle issues that impact the learning of young people, such as staff retention and continuous professional development. We also encourage businesses to engage with school careers leaders to help them build relationship with your own organisation and others across the community.  

Identifying and understanding how business can inspire young people to learn and achieve in different curriculum areas

We encourage business to work within the curriculum to help build young people’s knowledge and skills for future work.

How Business in the Community can support your business

Business Class

BITC encourages businesses to support young people in schools facing disadvantage by forming long-term, strategic partnerships using our Business Class framework. The framework has four pillars: leadership and governance; curriculum; enterprise and employability; and wider issues. These enable business to make full use of their expertise and support schools in a holistic way. We offer activities to support businesses to work effectively with schools across all aspects of the Business Class framework. 

Careers Lab

Careers Lab aims to bridge the gap between schools and industry by getting more businesses into the classroom to deliver inspiring careers lessons side-by-side with teachers, helping young people to think more widely about their working life. It is a flexible programme for schools and businesses to work together and can be run in an hour or a day depending on student needs.
Visit the Careers Lab website


BITC is a partner of the Barclays LifeSkills programme. We work with Barclays to deliver the programme activity in schools in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  It is a free, curriculum-linked resource for young people and schools that aims to inspire, educate and empower young people aged 11 to 24 years old.


The LifeSkills programme in Wales includes school and college visits and workshops run by Barclays volunteers and the BITC Cymru LifeSkills Facilitators.


Supported by BITC Scotland LifeSkills is expected to benefit more than 30,000 young people in Scotland over the next three years. The programme also creates opportunities for Barclays employees in Scotland to volunteer.

Education and the digital responsible business agenda

BITC’s Brave New World report, showed that technology and engineering skills gaps, have a significant impact on the British economy. Among this rapidly changing landscape, there is a need to ensure that young people are equipped to thrive in a digitally-enabled future. While not the only answer, technology brings opportunities to improve education, from virtual and augmented reality to messenger apps, improving the potential reach of business’s interventions.

Business in the Community’s Responsible Digital Business programme seeks to work with organisations to overcome these challenges and ensure that this digital transformation is ethical, sustainable and inclusive.



  1. Social Metrics Commission (2019); Measuring Poverty 2019; available at
  2. CBI (2018); Educating For The Modern World: CBI/Pearson Education And Skills Annual Report; available at
  3. Educating For The Modern World (2018): CBI/Pearson Education And Skills Annual Report; available at
  4. The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030 (2017), Bakhshi, H., Downing, J.M., Osborne, M.A. & Schneider, P. London: Pearson and Nesta