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A West Country based Polar Adventurer is inviting businesses to join LiketoBe, the digital networking platform designed to inspire young people by offering them ‘real world’ career advice.
Following the online platform’s successful inception, the initiative is now set to launch, giving South West businesses the opportunity to connect with students, helping young people realise their career aspirations and companies tackle their recruitment challenges.
The launch took place at Plymouth Science Park on Wednesday April 25, with businesses from across the region. Key employers already signed up include Network Rail and RNLI.
LiketoBe is the brainchild of explorer Antony Jinman, from Plymouth, who has skied to the geographic North and South Poles. On his expeditions he communicated with thousands of youngsters back in Britain, via satellite phone and email, to share the experience and inspire them, including the moment he reached the South Pole.
The 35-year-old explained the rationale behind LiketoBe.
“A big problem in the South West is that many schools, particularly in hard to reach rural or socially deprived areas, rarely receive school visitors to give career talks. Yet so many businesses want to inspire young people and attract the right calibre of future employees.
“LiketoBe solves this problem, connecting employers with schools, colleges and universities. It’s a recruitment platform but so much more, helping to raise student aspirations, making it a win-win.”
Professionals signing up for the initiative at next week’s event - ‘Raising students’ aspirations: Would you LiketoBe involved?’ - will achieve Founding Business status and have the opportunity to connect with educators and students locally, nationally and internationally.
Plymouth School of Creative Arts is one of those already involved.
Headteacher Dave Strudwick said: “We we are keen to look at how careers, employability and a sense of the horizon are integral to all learning. Young people need the chance to explore these areas in primary and secondary schools. LiketoBe is a great process to support this. It’s a vehicle for creating and maximising community. It supports your readiness for Ofsted, and it is the right thing to do for young people and the communities we work in."
By engaging directly with schools, colleges and universities, businesses will be able to promote career opportunities, inspire students to fulfill their aspirations and build stronger links with the local community.
Jane Austin, Head of Engineering at Network Rail, who are starting to use the platform, said: "There is a massive skills shortage of engineers across all sectors here in the UK, not just the rail industry. Network Rail sees LiketoBe as a great opportunity to engage with young people and demonstrate what opportunities are available to them, whilst helping to raise aspirations towards STEM careers."
Antony, whose Education through Expeditions initiative has already helped to inspire thousands of youngsters, added: “The biggest barrier to young people’s aspirations is the lack of knowledge and understanding to what career opportunities there are. It was talking with teachers that made me realise there is a huge gap in how we show, in an exciting and real way, young people the huge range of career options we have across the South West. Companies who come to the launch will be able to see for themselves the exciting opportunities to get involved.”