David Cameron lauds Speakers for Schools, challenges UK’s top 1000 CEOs & business leaders to speak in state schools at CBI Conference

4 November 2013

David Cameron has called on the UK’s most influential business leaders to join Speakers for Schools initiative this year in his annual address at the CBI 2013 conference.

Challenging the CBI to help grow the Speakers for Schools network to 1000 of the top business leaders, they would be joining current speakers such as of CBI President Sir Mike Rake, MITIE CEO Ruby McGregor-Smith, RBS Chairman Sir Philip Hampton, Caterpillar UK Vice President Gwenne Henricks and many more eminent leaders of British business in giving their time to speak in a state school through the charity.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Enhancing our education system and driving cultural change in favour of business, enterprise and industry are fundamental parts of building a strong, balanced economy. To do this we must ensure that every young person in the UK has the best opportunity to succeed and achieve their full potential – which is why I am such a supporter of the excellent Speakers for Schools, a charity that brings inspirational speakers into schools to speak to young people and inspire them to succeed.
Today we have set the CBI the ambitious challenge of getting 1,000 of Britain’s top business people to sign up to Speakers for Schools to drive this cultural change – I am sure they will be more than up to the task.”

Mr Cameron said that in addition to reforming the UK welfare, education, immigration and infrastructure systems, getting business leaders back to schools is equally important and termed the latter as the fifth element of the jigsaw to secure UK prosperity.

Speakers for Schools provides young people in state secondary schools across the UK with access to inspirational talks from notable industry leaders, experts and innovators from every field and background – from business to media, from politics to science – free of charge. Today’s announcement focused specifically on the business strand of the charity’s overall activity.

Getting Involved

Speakers for Schools is looking to recruit the UK’s leading CEOs, Chairs, Senior Partners and founders to join our network of speakers. To find out more about taking part in Speakers for Schools please contact us.

For more about who our speakers are, see Our Speakers.


Full press release below

PRIME MINISTER CALLS ON BRITAIN’S BUSINESS LEADERS TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL

As part of his speech to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Prime Minister David Cameron today announced that the government will help Speakers for Schools build its business strand, to bring many more business leaders, from big firms and small firms, into schools and help inspire young people to reach their full potential.

The Prime Minister, who himself gave a Speakers for Schools talk in his constituency last month, set CBI members the challenge of helping to encourage 1,000 of Britain’s highest calibre business leaders to sign up to the charity within the next year – helping to forge closer links between the business community and state schools in the UK.

Speakers for Schools provides young people in state secondary schools across the UK with access to inspirational talks from notable industry leaders, experts and innovators from every field and background – from business to the media, politics, science, the arts and sport – free of charge. Today’s announcement focused specifically on the business strand of the charity’s overall activity.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Enhancing our education system and driving cultural change in favour of business, enterprise and industry are fundamental parts of building a strong, balanced economy. To do this we must ensure that every young person in the UK has the best opportunity to succeed and achieve their full potential – which is why I am such a supporter of the excellent Speakers for Schools, a charity that brings inspirational speakers into schools to speak to young people and inspire them to succeed.

Today we have set the CBI the ambitious challenge of getting 1,000 of Britain’s top business people to sign up to Speakers for Schools to drive this cultural change – I am sure they will be more than up to the task.”

Commenting on the speech, Andrew Law, Chairman of the Speakers for Schools Board of Trustees, said:

“We’re extremely proud to count the Prime Minister as such a strong supporter of Speakers for Schools and echo his views on the importance of business leaders taking the time to visit state schools and engage with students. We all share responsibility for the next generation, and Speakers for Schools talks are crucial for helping the students of today become the leaders of tomorrow.”

Robert Peston, the founder of Speakers for Schools, said:

“The more confident and ambitious our young people can become, the better placed Britain will be to meet the profound economic challenges ahead. Which is why I am thrilled that more and more successful people are responding to Speakers for Schools’ invitation to inspire and motivate students in state schools, and we hope that the Prime Minister’s call will encourage even more of Britain’s top business talent to get involved.”

Recent research commissioned by Speakers for Schools, which polled 1,000 students aged 15 to 18 and their teachers, revealed the importance of providing students with access to inspirational speakers.

The research showed that 71% of state school teachers in this country believe that successful people have a responsibility to motivate today’s students, while one in four fear that the young people in their class do not have the role models they need to inspire them to reach their full potential.

ENDS

For more information please contact Stuart Davis (stuart.davis@freuds.com / 0203 003 6630) or Lisa Kilmartin (lisa.kilmartin@freuds.com / 0203 003 6446)

For further professionals interested in giving their time or getting your employees involved talking be sure to see our sister charity the Education and Employers Taskforce’s initiative Inspiring the Future. This free national service aims to get 100,000 people – from apprentices up to CEOs, from architects to zoologists, to pledge an hour a year to visit a state secondary school, near home or work, to talk with students in small groups about the job they do and their career route. To find out more about signing up as an employer or individual careers volunteer: http://www.inspiringthefuture.org/employers-volunteers.aspx