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Prudential UK & Europe - Business Class Reading

South East Local Impact Award 2013 - Business Class Category - Winner 2013

Prudential are a National Champion of Business Class and lead and fund the Reading cluster of businesses and schools. They see their Business Class engagement as a way of contributing, over the long-term, to local schools and communities.

Business impacts

  • 44% of employees are involved in volunteering, with 15% involved in skill-sharing programmes such as Business Class.
  • More than 30 colleagues are involved in Business Class volunteering in Reading, which has been their biggest growing skilled volunteering programme over the last 12 months.
  • 60% of volunteers felt they gained a better understanding of their local communities.
  • 89% of colleagues agreed that Prudential is a responsible business and 70% say that Prudential’s approach to community investment has a positive influence on how they feel about working for the company.

Social impacts

  • Raised profile of Business Class locally through an event at which Shadow Education Secretary, Stephen Twigg MP was a speaker.
  • 93% of students learned from their business volunteers at the recent careers event and 90% said they knew the school subjects they needed to concentrate on for their careers.
  • 93% of students increased their confidence through taking part in Prudential interventions.

Prudential logoPrudential chose Business Class for its long-term, strategic model, focus on the needs of the school, and for the learning and development opportunities it provides to their colleagues through their broad engagement with the workings of the school.  

Prudential's business-focus is on creating long-term value. As Business Class follows that same model it is a natural fit for the company.

At partnership meetings, the overall aims of the school and business are always addressed to ensure that the programme stays focused on the most pressing needs. Two-way communication is the key to the ongoing success of the Business Class relationship, and focusing on value for both sides of the partnership ensures it is sustainable.

Targets are set when the delivery plan is agreed and are revisited at every review. In many cases this is the first time Prudential have attempted some of the programme activities. It is therefore important that they are honest in their evaluation and feedback, so that they can gain maximum learning from the interventions.

In addition to this partnership, the local BITC team adds value when it comes to reporting against their targets, challenging Prudential to remain focused on the outputs and overall needs analysis.

The Prudential team has learnt to be flexible with partners and workloads, and be realistic on ambitions.  They also very much work to their strengths and areas of expertise and so, for example, the school have been able to advise them when launching an Apprenticeship programme for the first time.