Ford of Britain and Robert Clack School Partnership

Good for society
  • The programme has helped make STEM subjects exciting study options for all students with a specific focus on encouraging more female students.
  • Young people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds have been given positive role models through the mentoring programme.
The Education Award, Finalist, 2016

Pupils aged 11-18 in one of the poorest areas of the UK are receiving practical and financial support thanks to a partnership between car maker Ford and Robert Clack School.

Ford logoOverview

Starting in 2012 through Business in the Community’s Business Class programme, Ford of Britain is helping raise educational achievement and providing life-changing opportunities in Dagenham close to its largest car plant.

In partnership with Robert Clack School, Ford provides inspiring interventions and initiatives to encourage children from the area, one of the poorest 25 in England, to aim higher. 

Dagenham suffers from economic inactivity and unemployment levels significantly higher than the national average. 

Through the local Business Class Cluster, best practice and support has been shared with other organisations across the area.

The partnership aims to inspire young people through one-to-one mentoring, visits to Ford to understand the range of job opportunities and how to achieve those goals, work experience to enhance skills and experience, and financial and practical support as they leave education to pursue future goals.  

For Ford the programme delivers improved employee engagement, a pipeline of future talent including female engineers and projects that deliver real business improvements.

Ford has a long and strong history in Dagenham and this initiative focuses on developing a deep and sustainable partnership between the school and Ford’s local manufacturing and distribution facility in order to deliver positive benefits for local schoolchildren.

The partnership continually develops new initiatives year on year through collaboration between Ford’s internal experts, the school staff and Alumni to turn collective ideas into positive action to inspire and support students from underprivileged backgrounds to reach their full potential.

Background

Ford of Europe produces, sells and services Ford vehicles in 50 countries and employs around 47,000 employees. The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe from the USA in 1903 and European production started in 1911. Ford has sold the most popular passenger car in Britain for 38 consecutive years and the most popular commercial vehicle for 49 consecutive years. Over 50% of global Ford diesel engine demand is supplied by the Dagenham Engine Plant.

Despite Ford’s long proud history in the area, Dagenham is still one of Britain’s poorest areas. Ford is improving the prospects of local young people by raising academic achievement and tackling youth unemployment. 

The power of partnership

By partnering with Robert Clack School, a local comprehensive, Ford is supporting young people facing real social disadvantage by providing life-changing opportunities - these, in turn, provide tangible business benefits to Ford.  

For Ford, the partnership delivers improved employee engagement, a pipeline of future talent (including female engineers) and projects that deliver real business improvements.

A key aim of Ford’s corporate social responsibility programme, One Ford, is to build a better world; so reaching out and providing assistance to local communities is important to the company.

What Ford of Britain's Chairman said:

“Dagenham is at the heart of Ford of Britain’s operational activities, we are proud of our history and the long-standing relationship with the local community. As a business we owe an incredible amount to the area which has supported us for over 85 years. It is through initiatives like our Robert Clack School partnership, we can make a direct positive contribution back into the community. Inspiring, developing and supporting future generations is an objective I would strongly encourage every business to adopt; this is about doing business the right way.” - Andy Barratt, Chairman and Managing Director, Ford of Britain

Good for business
  • The partnership has forged strong future links with the local community by demonstrating Ford’s commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility through inspiring future generations.
  • Encouraging more young people to pursue a career in Engineering and thereby increasing the future talent pool for Ford.