Construction giant shows how it helps students to boost their job prospects

Nov 26, 2013


Speaking at an event in Milton Keynes, Wates’ chief executive Paul Drechsler (pictured) joined business-led charity Business in the Community to showcase the Business Class initative and share best practice in business-education collaboration.
Drawing an audience of staff and students from schools from across the UK, the event was held at The Hazeley Academy, with which Wates has a three-year partnership to help boost student attainment.
BiTC’s Business Class scheme is designed to match schools with businesses to provide vocational work experience and raise the career aspirations of young people.
A national champion of the Business Class programme, Wates is now in its second year of collaboration with The Hazeley Academy. The work has seen the contractor take to the classroom to deliver monthly mentoring sessions and literacy workshops.
A series of site visits across Milton Keynes have also been held to introduce staff and students to the inner workings of a live construction site.
Wates staff have also developed eight Business Class collaborations with schools around the UK.
Mr Drechsler, who chairs the BITC Education Leadership Team, said: " Supporting education and investing in the vocational skills of tomorrow’s workforce is a duty of all businesses across the country and through the work done by Business in the Community and its Business Class programme, we are presented with an extremely valuable means to fulfil some of this responsibility."
Wates is one of five National Champions of Business Class and was highly commended in this year’s Education Category at BiTC’s Responsible Business Awards.
“They have made a huge contribution to the development of the programme,” said BITC education director Faye Rasumussen. “There is a deep organisation-wide commitment to making a real difference to young people’s lives.”
The Hazeley Academy principal Mark Bennison said: “Our recently published five year strategic vision talks of going beyond the outstanding academic results that we already achieve.
“We speak to a vision of young people leaving the academy with a gripping confidence, a level of creativity that borders on the entrepreneurial and above all possessing a level of social literacy and a set of values that defines real character.
“Everything so far regarding our work with Wates plays to and enriches this vision. Business in the Community is no ordinary programme – it is exceptional and has real impact.”
Vicky Priestley, Hazeley’s assistant principal, partnerships, added “Working with Wates as a business partner is having real impact in raising aspirations and confidence of our students that are mentored and we are looking forward to expanding the mentoring in the new term.”
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