THE chief executive of Redditch-based Faun Zoeller UK is to head up a pioneering mentoring group to find the next generation of business talent.
Simon Hyde knows that for businesses to continue to build on success and flourish in the future, a constant influx of young people is essential.
To help safeguard that future the CEO of the waste management company has set up Power Up, which is a mix of senior local business people and educationalists who will devote time to working and mentoring school children and young people.
“Without mentoring it will be very difficult to attract new talent to businesses,” said Simon.
“We need to find the stars of the future, but it is vital to start doing something now.
“Young people in education are not showing enough interest in the business world.
“I was lucky when I was young – I had two brilliant mentors, without whom I wouldn’t be in the job I do today.”
The Power Up name illustrates the group’s main goal, which is to encourage young people to consider a career in business.
“Some people think that mentoring is about being a nurse maid and looking after young people,” added Simon.
“That is not true: it is actually about getting young people motivated, increasing their confidence and ensuring they are resilient.
“As mentors we have to switch them on so they can find their own energy.”
All members of Power Up work hard to encourage pupils to visit their companies and in turn they also visit the schools to talk to both pupils and teachers to establish free-flowing dialogues.
Mark Ridings, managing director and founder of Lasercomb Group, said: “There are two fundamental barriers we need to break down.
“School leavers are pressed hard to go to university.
“They are therefore avoiding the trades and engineering.
“Our top priorities are to create a dialogue, open up the doors and engage with as many schools as we can.
“The other problem is that Covid has had a big impact on education.
“We are in danger of having a generation of young people who feel disadvantaged and left behind.
“This is so wrong.
“We believe they potentially represent a golden generation who actually have limitless opportunities.
“But we need to get out there and convince them.”