BUSINESSES across Wiltshire are doing their bit to build the workforce of the future by joining a ground-breaking partnership with schools.

The Be Involved scheme, backed by Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council, sees staff from firms in the county link up with teachers and students in their communities.

It is being offered on a wider scale following a successful trial which began in September last year.

Businesses can get involved in a number of ways including offering apprenticeships, traineeships and supported internships.

Businesses can also send speakers into schools to talk about their work, support careers events and back training and mentoring projects such as the Enterprise Adviser Network and Building Bridges.

Laura Mayes, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for children, education and skills said: “This is a brilliant initiative and we are pleased to promote it.

“I’d encourage all employers to think about joining up with Be Involved.”

When firms sign up with Be Involved, a member of Wiltshire Council’s Employment and Skills service or Swindon Borough Council’s Routes to Employment service will call to discuss how they can support the scheme.

Juliet Harris from bodyshop repair business, MG Cannon, said: “We joined Be Involved because MG Cannon’s ethos is to support the community wherever possible.

“I have taken part in a careers fair, helped at three mock interview days with students, we have a work experience placement in our Salisbury office, as well as apprentices at Plymouth and Salisbury and are recruiting for another in Westbury.

“The benefit to us is that we are able to help students understand what our business is about, and we are helping apprentices learn a specialised trade with some of the leading car manufacturers.

"I would encourage other employers to Be Involved, the system is really straightforward and user-friendly.”

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