OVO Energy’s charity, the OVO Foundation has partnered with West of England Mentoring (WEM) to launch a new regional secondary school programme which sees OVO employees become mentors to give students from Year 8 and Year 10 from disadvantaged areas of Bristol an insight into the world of work, as well as guidance with their future career paths.
The new partnership supports OVO Foundation’s ambition to champion education opportunities to help give young people a better future. WEM supports the delivery of national best practice in business mentoring in schools with the programme aiming to help boost young people’s confidence.
During the six-session programme, OVO employee mentors will coach more than 30 students, helping them to overcome barriers, develop career pathways and gain key employability skills such as interview practice and CV writing.
The new secondary school partnerships build on OVO Foundation’s successful education schemes, including Future Builders, which gives young, homeless people the opportunity to refurbish properties that then become their home, whilst also moving into an apprenticeship or employment.
Fourteen OVO employees will participate in the programme, supporting more than 30 secondary school students at City Academy and Oasis Academy Brislington before the end of the year. The programme will begin again in January 2018.
Gaby Sethi, Head of OVO Foundation and CSR, OVO Foundation, said: “OVO is delighted to be involved in the WEM programme for the first time this year. We’re committed to supporting ongoing learning opportunities, both for OVO team members as well as local schoolchildren. In partnering with two schools, this programme will help to further develop the leadership skills of our mentors, as well as raise aspirations and provide an insight into the world of work for children who live in disadvantaged areas of Bristol.”
Jenny Perez, Project Manager, West of England Mentoring, said: “We’re thrilled to join forces with OVO Foundation who have a reputation for helping to deliver impactful projects for young people in the region. OVO’s mentors will be valuable in helping to use their experience to deliver advice to students. We believe the employability, skills and experiences of every kind of worker can be inspirational and we’re looking forward to working together on the programme.”
Victoria Knight, WEM Mentor, OVO, said: “This is a great opportunity for the schools involved as well as for OVO employees. The programme allows me to build on the leadership skills I’ve gained through our in-house learning and development courses, which are delivered through OVO University, and will challenge me to engage, mentor and lead a very different group of people than I do in my day to day role.”