Local volunteer Paul Andrews, CEO of Jobs in Kent and presenter of Business Bunker Radio Show, has been shortlisted in the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) UK Volunteer Awards 2020. Overall winners will be announced at the annual FSB Volunteer Conference in London on 4 February 2020.
The South East shortlisting recognises Paul’s work on the Skills 30:30 events. The workshops bring together 30 businesses and 30 students for presentations in a school, followed by face-to-face networking. To date, more than 1,500 people have taken part in 10 schools and academies across the Kent.
Paul Andrews says, “It is fantastic to see business owners and volunteers from Kent being acknowledged for their help and support at a national level. These workshops are very positive interactions between the younger generation and business owners. They have generated jobs, skills swaps and strong contacts between businesses and students. I am delighted to have been shortlisted.”
Kent and Medway Area Leader Deborah Turner says, “FSB cannot thank Paul enough for his enthusiasm and contribution to Skills 30:30. When many businesses cite the skills gap as an obstacle to their growth, Skills 30:30 does something positive and tangible to help close this gap. These events build bridges between businesses and the education sectors and are evidence of Paul’s support for SMEs and the younger generation. Congratulations Paul on this shortlisting.”
Assistant Principal Steven Reader of Hayesbrook School, Tonbridge, said: “We have held two Skills 30:30. Approximately 60 of our pupils from a range of year groups enjoyed highly inspiring talks. The networking session is an equally powerful experience with students and businesses connecting to share their big ideas and advice on how to turn that into a reality. The event was voted as the most popular careers event in 2019. We can't wait for the next opportunity to open our doors to more local businesses."
The workshops allow students to talk to businesses and representatives from a wide range of industries and local firms. As well as entrepreneurs and small business owners, students have met staff from LinkedIn, NatWest, South Eastern Trains, Kent Police and the BBC.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) exists to help small businesses achieve their ambitions. FSB’s volunteers, all who run their own small businesses, play a vital role in its success. The awards recognise and acknowledge this work which helps to ensure that small businesses continue to contribute to the UK’s local and national economies and communities.
Future Skills 30:30 dates are 12 February, St George’s Community Foundation School; Broadstairs; 26 June, Wilmington Academy, Dartford and 8 July, Mascalls Academy, Paddock Wood. More information is available on www.fsb.org.uk/events.