During a recent speech to manufacturing industry executives, Business Secretary Vince Cable cited teachers' lack of workplace knowledge as the 'underlying problem' in careers advice and guidance. According to Cable, teachers - predominantly graduates themselves - "know about UCAS forms - but... know absolutely nothing about the world of work."
Having worked in this area for many years, it is clear to me that a large part of the benefit of school attendance is what you learn outside the classroom, and the interactions with your peers, teachers and other staff. For some children, it could be the first time they interact with an adult beyond their immediate family.
We are about to start using video interviews as an integral part of our screening process at the New Entrepreneurs Foundation. We have done this in order to increase significantly the number of people we can see (albeit virtually) before making an initial shortlist. As we are about to open applications for this year's group of New Entrepreneurs Foundation students, I thought it would be helpful to provide some tips on how to do a good video interview.
I have the honour of being a mentor for the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and was recently asked to provide an online session for their mentees, all of which are women in developing countries. The aim of the session was to provide strategies and tips to help them overcome the challenges they may face.
Two years ago, when I decided to leave my job as VP of Sales for a public company, many people told me "don't do it/that's the end of your career/such a risky move" because I didn't have another job lined up. They saw what I was doing as the end of my world, whilst for me it was the beginning of a new one.
In early September, 36 eager young aspiring entrepreneurs gathered at a location in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, to start their year long journey learning about entrepreneurship. The cohort is the Class of 2014 specially selected to join The New Entrepreneurs Foundation programme from nearly 1000 applicants.
Young people conceive of the internet more as an extension of their social circle than an extension of the school library, and the qualities they seek in the most valuable relationships they form are the same both on and offline: trust, understanding and the sense that someone will be there for them over time.