North East’s charity and voluntary sector to get business boost
Date: 16/07/2013

North East’s charity and voluntary sector to get business boost

Voluntary sector organisations and charities in the Middlesbrough and Redcar areas of Cleveland are receiving a boost following the secondment of a full time Business Connector from PD Ports into the area.

The Business Connectors programme, which has been backed by HRH the Prince of Wales and Prime Minister David Cameron, is run by charity Business in the Community.  The scheme puts full-time business resource and time into communities of greatest need, in the form of professionals on secondment from business who are trained to connect the resource of local businesses to meet the needs of a local community.

Eddie will be leaving his day job of steel export terminal shift manager, for 12 months to take up this unique role.

Commenting, Eddie, said: “I am delighted to have been appointed Business Connector for the Middlesbrough and Redcar areas.  I am looking to forward to making a real difference to the local communities and individual people that live there, whilst tackling some of the social and economic issues in this region. I am incredibly grateful to have been given this opportunity by my employers at  PD Ports to connect with both the local community and businesses to help address the existing skills gap in the area.  The key to success will be in getting the region’s businesses to collaborate in a bid to offer our young people the chance to develop their skills and improve their prospects of gaining employment.”

This recent announcement coincides with the one year anniversary of the Business Connector programme which was celebrated at ‘The Big Connect’ in London on 12 July, where HRH Prince of Wales spoke to and met Business Connectors and local community and voluntary organisations from all over the country including Eddie.

Eddie is hoping to build on the impressive achievements of Craig Warkman from Greggs who worked as Redcar’s Business Connector during the 2011 pilot phase. Craig primarily focussed on inspiring young people through initiatives, including the creation of start-up retail businesses for young entrepreneurs in vacant high street units, helping to bring 16 young people into apprenticeships with  PD Ports and 24 young people on a cadetship programme with Tata Steel. Craig also launched ‘Business Class’, a Business in the Community programme that brings schools from disadvantaged areas into long-term partnerships with businesses. Craig subsequently secured three businesses to partner three local secondary schools as part of Business Class.

Stephen Howard, Business in the Community Chief Executive said: “Business Connectors is based on the proven impact of taking business resource, skills and time into the heart of communities where vital community services are under pressure to do more with less.  Just one year into the Business Connector and it is clear the powerful impact they are having, but there is still so much more to be done.  We’re delighted that PD Ports is placing Eddie Miller to work full-time in this community.  We hope other organisations are inspired by the leadership shown by PD Ports and our additional supporting businesses to also take a stand to build sustainable cohesive communities at this critical time.  We look forward to working with Eddie and seeing the valuable connections we know he will make in Middlesbrough and Redcar.”

For further information visit: http://www.bitc.org.uk/programmes/business-connectors

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