As an organisation who provides practical support, life-changing personal development programmes and impartial career guidance, The Golden Apple Awards are a good fit with the Company’s ethos.
“At the core of our business, the reason why people want to work for and with us, is that we care and we want to help people,” says Mark Bowman, Chief Executive of Inspira. “Sponsoring Golden Apples is a natural fit for us as young people are our future, they need dedicated teachers, support staff, organisations and volunteers helping them to grow and develop skills for life and future employment.”
Inspira manages and delivers programmes like the National Citizen Service (NCS), a government-backed programme, for 15-17 year olds, and the National Careers Service for Adults.
NCS, a youth flagship programme in England and Northern Ireland, helps prepare teenagers for future independent and working life as young adults by offering them a unique real life experience which helps build their confidence, communication and team-building skills as well as their personal and employability strengths.
“NCS has gone from strength to strength over the past five years. In this year’s Queen’s Speech plans were announced for an NCS Bill which will help to achieve the vision of making NCS a national institution available to every teenager in the country.”
Other recent successes include funding for a NEET programme across Cumbria and Lancashire as well as additional mopeds for the Wheels to Work scheme run across the county.
“Wheels to Work is such as practical programme for young people struggling to get to work, or learning,” continues Mark. “We have over 50 bikes around the county now funded by local authorities and organisations, which we loan out for periods of up to six months, to help people get on their feet.”
In recent weeks confirmation has also come through for Inspira to work with Cumbria’s LEP on the management and delivery of the Enterprise Advisor Network. Something they already do in Burnley, Blackburn and Darwen. The Network is a private sector-led, government initiative launched through The Careers and Enterprise Company. It is designed to create powerful, lasting connections between local businesses and schools and academies in the area. The Enterprise Advisers are drawn from businesses who will work directly with the school’s leadership team to develop effective employer engagement plans.
“It’s an ambitious plan but one which we see as vital. Our own and external research tells us that young people need access to businesses and work experience to secure themselves a positive working future,” states Mark. “As a consequence of our beliefs we are pleased to see the new Futures and Employability Award included in these Awards.”
The social enterprise, which has its headquarters in Penrith, first threw its weight behind the CN Group Education and Learning Awards, dubbed the Golden Apples, in 2014 and is continuing its support in 2016 along with the University of Cumbria.