Could you describe yourself and your job in a few words?
My name is Mike Zatyka, I am the Head of Growth Fund at Skills Builder Partnership (formerly known as Enabling Enterprise). I’m based in London and have been working at the Skills Builder Partnership for the last eight years. My job is to build successful partnerships with our corporate supporters.
Could you describe shortly Enabling Enterprise well as the partnership with SG ?
The level of youth unemployment in England is three times that of the broader population – and the absence of essential employability skills is often cited by employers as the driver.
The Skills Builder Partnership is a growing movement of educators, employers and other youth organisations united around a shared mission: that one day everyone will build the essential skills to succeed.
Already 700 organisations strong, everyone involved is using the Skills Builder Framework as a common language and shared outcomes for eight essential employability skills including Presenting, Problem Solving and Teamwork. Over the last academic our school programmes supported over 130,000 students in England.
Société Générale has been a core partner in our mission since 2010. Our volunteering programme has engaged over 200 Société Générale volunteers and 1,000 students. Financial support has increased our capacity to innovate and scale our approach.
You have developed partnerships both with the SG Foundation and SG UK for a few years now, on the financial aspect and through employee commitment. Is this link important for your structure ?
Partnership working with employers has been key to our success to date and the close partnership with Société Générale formed over the last nine years is very important to us.
The continued support of the Société Générale CSR Team in London and the support of hundreds of committed volunteers has enabled us to provide unique experiences of the workplace to over 1,000 students following the Skills Builder programme in their schools.
More broadly, our operating model combines traded income from schools, which helps to make our approach sustainable over the long term, with fundraised income which enables us to invest in innovation and grow our capacity.
The support of SG UK and the SG Foundation has contributed to innovations including new teaching resources which now form a core part of our digital resource platform: the Skills Builder Hub. We have also been able to increase our capacity to reach schools in new regions of England and expand the national footprint of the Skills Builder Partnership.
Over the next three years we are working to build cross-sector alignment with the Skills Builder approach and look forward to working closely with Société Générale to achieve this.
What impact does the fact of having committed SG employees involved in the program have on the youngsters?
Providing opportunities for students to experience people and places outside their home-school network is a key priority for many school leaders we work with.
The inspirational visits to Société Générale and ALD Automotive offices for students following the Skills Builder programme in their schools provide the experience of a real workplace, often for the first time. The students taking part are often still in primary school (aged 8-11).
SG employees volunteer as team mentors – coaching a small team of students to complete a fast-paced challenge focused on developing problem solving, teamwork and presenting skills. For example, creating a basic business plan or making fictional investment decisions and presenting these back. Volunteers share how they use the essential skills in their roles and coach the students through the process of analysing the problem, considering different solutions, making a decision as a team and clearly communicating their work through s presentation.
Working in small groups means that students receive lots of support from the volunteers and can develop an informal learning relationship. The impact is a visible increase in confidence and participation. The most common feedback we hear from school teachers is their pleasant surprise at how specific students who are quiet or disruptive in school, have worked really well and shown a different, more positive side of themselves on the visit.
More broadly, working alongside Société Générale volunteers complements and re-enforces the school-based Skills Builder programme by helping students understand how skills like teamwork and problem solving are essential, not just in school, but throughout life.
What is your overview of this long-term partnership? What conclusions could we draw?
When we first met with the Société Générale CSR Team back in 2010, our organisation was in a start-up phase, working with a handful of schools to pilot how best to support skills development within compulsory education.
Société Générale was one of the first corporate partners to support our approach. Our model of inspirational student visits to employers would later be replicated across five Société Générale offices in London and the ALD Automotive office in Bristol. Over 1,000 students have gained a memorable experience of Société Générale and made progress on essential skills.
The sustained support of Société Générale over the last nine years has also been a key driver of growth, innovation and new partnerships. Skills Builder has grown to reach over 500 schools in the last academic year alone. Furthermore, over 100 employers and 60 youth organisations support our vision for system-wide change in how young people develop the essential skills to succeed.
The next three years will see us working with more stakeholders than ever before. A key priority is the continued scaling of our school programme and we are delighted that the SG Foundation has committed to help us achieve this. Also, for the first time we have started to support schools and youth organisations internationally and we are excited about the opportunities for our partnership in the years to come.
To know more about this organization : Enabling Enterprise