Benchmark founder Louisa Harrison-Walker was a guest speaker at the Higher Education Progression Partnership South Yorkshire Plus (HeppSY+) Annual Conference on 5th July providing delegates with an employer perspective on higher education.
HeppSY+ aim is to increase the number of students progressing into higher education. The organisation is part of the national programme funded by Office for Students (OfS) to support those at most risk from missing out on higher education. This impartial service works with 45 targeted wards in South Yorkshire where evidence indicates individuals in these areas have a lower than expected level of participating in higher education based on their GCSE attainment.
“Operating a recruitment business puts in the privileged position of having the ears of many employers and insights into how education and commerce can work more closely. High on the agenda is providing opportunities to students through tailored courses to produce the skills sets required in industry and offering work experience placements. From the skills research we undertook with Sheffield City Region, we are aware there is a discrepancy in employers looking to employ people with one to two years experience when in reality people leaving education will not have this luxury. Our aim is to encourage more businesses to realise the need to embrace work experience and develop links with higher education to inspire and help future generations learn about the opportunities available to them.” Louisa Harrison-Walker, Managing Director at Benchmark.
HEppSY+’s objective is to double the number of young people accessing higher education from the target 45 ward and increase progression by 20% for black, minority and ethnic groups. There is huge potential as within the 45 wards there are potentially 20,600 school students and 102 schools that meet the criteria for the HeppSY+ programme.