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Helping South Yorkshire pupils 'Fly High' with opportunities in higher education

Business in the Community (BITC) are working with HeppSY+, a partnership with Sheffield Hallam University, the University of Sheffield, and South Yorkshire colleges and schools, to increase the number of young people progressing to higher education

The Fly High project, delivered by BITC and HeppSY+, will involve business volunteers providing activities for eight secondary school pupils across Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham. These activities will encourage young people to consider degree courses at colleges and university as well as higher or degree level apprenticeships.

These business volunteers will be supported to work alongside teachers in the classroom to deliver a series of interventions exploring career opportunities, the labour market and skills for career success. Businesses will have the opportunity to promote their sector, company and graduate opportunities to these young people.

The organisations can potentially increase the demographic diversity of people entering their company, sector or profession, helping to create a workforce better able to understand and deal with future challenges. It will also demonstrate the positive commitment the businesses involved have made to their wider community

Fly High will also support career ‘influencers’, with opportunities for school staff and parents to enhance their understanding of the local labour market, the changing nature of jobs and careers, and the impact of globalisation and digitalisation on young people’s futures. Providing this knowledge and confidence will mean they can support young people to make informed choices about next steps, including into higher education.

Julie Cullen, Operations Manager North – Education at Business in the Community said: “We believe business has an important and unique role to play in inspiring young people to consider careers requiring higher education. Fly High will bring together young people and inspiring role models and teach them about higher education pathways and the skills and qualities needed to access them. A young person’s social background should not predict their success at school or beyond, so this support will help young people realise their potential and explore and fully understand the opportunities open to them.”

Mike Garnock-Jones, Hepp Director commented: “HeppSY+ want to double the number of young people accessing higher education in areas where participation of young people is lower than expected based on GCSE-level attainment. To help achieve this we provide impartial information and advice and engage with all higher education opportunities to help young people make the best choices for them individually. We are excited about involving business volunteers in this through BITC’s Fly High programme as we believe it will inspire young people and bring to life the potential higher education pathways open to them.” 

Find out more about HeppSY