“ The thriving local digital media sector has an insatiable appetite for talent and this visit has shown how businesses can help to employ more local people and break down some local barriers to employability. ”
Delegates gathered at The Bridge Community Education Centre, before moving on to see the work of Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA) as well as employability projects YES and BEACH. Community leaders at each group showcased their various programmes and initiatives helping support residents across the city, leaving delegates inspired by their work.
Speaking on the event Dylan Davies, Principle of BACA said ‘We were delighted to be able to take part in today’s event and showcase the work undertaken by both ourselves and the other groups involved", said Dylan Davies, Principal of BACA, "The visit was a great opportunity for us to discuss with business leaders how we can work together to support the future development of the city’.
Over 25 different organisations from across wider Brighton and Hove were present, including American Express, one of Brighton’s key employers. Jill Grafflin, Vice President World Service UK at American Express explained: “American Express is heavily involved in a wide and diverse range of local community initiatives. In partnership with Albion in the Community, we deliver a bespoke employee volunteer programme, supporting the Sussex community in areas of education, skills training, health and social inclusion.
"Today is a great opportunity for the business community to hear first-hand the challenges facing young people and adults and discuss the role businesses can play in benefiting the wider communities where we live and work.”
From sharing the skills of staff to strategically partnering with a secondary school, the pivotal role businesses can play in helping to support their local community was laid out. Businesses were asked to pledge their support at the end of the event through a round table discussion at the American Express Community Stadium.
Follow-up work with delegates and local groups by BITC will ensure pledges become action, with a Breakfast Briefing planned for visit delegates on Wednesday 21st May.
If you were unable to attend this visit but are interested in collaborating with other local businesses to address some of the issues identified please speak to Zoe Humphrey on 07789 713209. Find out more about Seeing is Believing, BITC's programme giving senior business leaders first-hand insight into key social and environmental issues.