Founders4Schools goes live in Scotland on Marketplace

Scotland’s national skills agency is linking up with The Hunter Foundation on its digital matchmaking service for schools, colleges and employers.

Marketplace is a free, one-stop shop for collaboration between employers and young people through their teachers and lecturers. It aims to improve the volume, access and quality of engagements between employers and education.

Originally developed by SDS in partnership with Edinburgh, Midlothian and East Lothian’s Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) group, it will be rolled out across Scotland and is currently also available in the North East.

Glasgow’s DYW group are launching Marketplace in the city today (28 March).

Employers register at and post opportunities they offer – such as workshops, talks, workplace visits or competitions – which schools can access via the partner area of SDS’s award-winning careers web service My World of Work.

The site has now been strengthened by also providing access to Founders4Schools, supported in Scotland by The Hunter Foundation, which allows teachers to find and invite business leaders and entrepreneurs to a specific event. After a visit, teachers are given recommendations from employers to ensure further engagements for pupils throughout the school term.

Founders4Schools is already widely used in England and Wales. It began as a way of bringing inspiring entrepreneurs to universities, with the focus now on pupils aged 13 to 16.

Sir Tom Hunter, Chairman of The Hunter Foundation, said: “Founders4Schools and this digital matching service offer our young people precisely the right opportunities. What could be better in teaching maths than hearing from a games company that applies maths to gaming, or a biotech entrepreneur talking about science?

“We really need to forge far greater links between business and education, it’s mutually beneficial and fundamental to our economic future and this takes one more step in the right direction.”  

Employers who work across Scotland only need to register once at Marketplace to post opportunities for a range of areas.

Young people will benefit from increased employer knowledge and expertise, as well as developing the skills and attitude employers need.

Employers can raise awareness of their sector, while inspiring young people to consider it as a future career. Employers can also use the opportunity of helping young people for staff development.

For all involved, there’s also the chance to build lasting relationships on a local and national level.

George Boag, SDS Director of Digital Services, said: “Working in partnership with DYW groups and The Hunter Foundation, SDS has created an effective digital matchmaking service for schools, colleges and employers.

“Combining the opportunities of Marketplace and Founders4Schools means we can offer young people access to quality engagements with employers that will give them real-life insight into jobs and industries, opening their eyes to the opportunities and possibilities of their future.

“Research tells us that increasing quality contact between young people and employers improves a young person’s chances of going into work, training, further or higher education when they leave school.

“Marketplace has more than 170 employers already registered to offer opportunities.”

Stuart Patrick, Chief Executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are pleased to be bringing Marketplace and Founders4Schools to schools, colleges and employers across the city of Glasgow.
“Businesses in Glasgow – through the work of our Glasgow Employer Board and the Developing the Young Workforce group – have shown a deep and sustained commitment to expanding opportunities for our young people and encouraging them to get the skills they need to help our businesses grow.”