Campaign to “Give an Hour” to help young people aspire – is working in practice.

Seventeen Year 8 students at Blackburn Central High School are being mentored by staff at Beever and Struthers. Staff from the accountancy firm are scheduled to meet the pupils three times a year until they graduate in 2022. The aim is to raise their aspirations, confidence, self-esteem and achievements.

As part of the programme, Beever and Struthers have hosted Lunch and Learn events which invite other professionals from sectors such as banking, law and financial consultancy to attend and give advice to pupils on other potential careers. The firm also offers work experience opportunities and conducted mock interviews which included a review of CVs.

“This is a great example of how employers can ‘Give an Hour’ through the Enterprise Adviser Network (EAN),” said Stuart Graham, Senior Enterprise Coordinator for Inspira.

Inspira delivers the Lancashire EAN and the Lancashire Careers Hub on behalf of the Careers and Enterprise Company and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership. The Give an Hour campaign is designed to encourage employers to volunteer a minimum of an hour to help inspire young people about their own profession.

For Beever and Struthers, the mentoring programme is part of a commitment to give something back to the communities in which it operates, with many of its 18 partners and 170-plus staff involved with charities and schools as trustees, governors and volunteers. The firm proactively contributes to society via community, sponsorship, charity, skills and employability initiatives.

Andy McLaren, training partner with Beever and Struthers, said: “Our research of mentoring opportunities for students in Lancashire showed that BCHS was a school where we could become a mentor of students to help in the development of key employability skills, while nurturing academic excellence.

“At Beever and Struthers we like to grow as much as we can from within. We have an apprenticeship programmes which is an ideal way for us to achieve this. For years we have offered finance-based apprenticeships, but now we also offer apprenticeships in some of our support functions – IT, marketing and office admin to name a few.

Partnering with BCHS in this way allows us to raise awareness that we are more than just a finance firm and also helps the students understand their potential career options and the skillsets we are looking for.”

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