Samantha Lawrence: St Francis of Assisi School and Veolia

"I have been surprised by how well schools and pupils respond to businesses wanting to get involved."

Samantha Lawrence, Education Officer, Veolia, has found giving young people positive role models outside school a rewarding part of being involved with Business Class.

For me it is all about giving young people opportunities, and I believe Business Class does exactly that!.

- Samantha Lawrence ,
Education Officer, Veolia
We got involved with Business Class as part of the contract VES Merseyside and Halton have with the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority. 

We have an education programme and purpose-built facility to educate schools and communities about recycling and environmental issues. We wanted to extend this by working in more depth with a specific school, and also allowing members of the contract not involved with education an opportunity to work with young people.

A really exciting moment for me was when during our practical maths day activity we worked with 20 GCSE Maths students who had sat their GCSE Maths exam up to three times and been unable to obtain a grade C or above. At one point during the session, one of the boys said “I get why we’re doing this now!” – because we had showed the class in practical terms how the very maths we were doing with them was crucial to our business function.
 
As a teacher I always have high expectations of young people, but I have been surprised by how well schools and pupils respond to businesses wanting to get involved. The demand for pupils to have real-world experience to enhance their studies is huge, and Business Class matches willing businesses up with schools that can benefit from this support.

There is only so much that schools can cover. Young people need to have positive role models outside of the ‘typical’ school environment, and outside of ‘typical’ job roles. Many of the young people I have worked with enjoy hearing about how people have got into their role and the different routes taken. For me, it is all about giving young people opportunities and I believe Business Class does exactly that!
 
I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing how well young people can apply themselves to aspects of the business world when given the opportunity. The way they have engaged with us has been fantastic and they are always so grateful!