ADD276 Inspiresme Week 2015

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
23 June 2015
Decision by: 
Amanda Coyle, Assistant Director, Health and Communities

Executive summary

This proposal seeks approval for expenditure of up to £35,000 to support the roll-out of the Inspiresme Week project to schools in disadvantaged areas of London (year two of the three year roll-out plan). The project provides opportunities for young people to learn what it takes to run a business directly from London’s SME owners. It also stimulates collaboration across the education and business sectors to ensure young people make successful transitions into the world of work.

The updated approval will allow the GLA to directly contract an organisation to deliver this project, and to receive project funding from Workspace Group to undertake this project.

See updated decision DD1354


The Assistant Director approves:
•    The receipt of £15,000 from Workspace Group;
•    Expenditure of up to a maximum of £35,000, including £30,000 for the procurement and appointment of a project delivery organisation and £5,000 for the GLA to host a celebratory event.


Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The Inspires Me Week project was developed in 2011, as a partnership between the GLA, Workspace Group, and the London Academies Enterprise Trust (LAET) academies. Over the first two years of the project, 90 students from the academies have benefited. In year one, 50 students were placed with 50 businesses; in year two, we reduced the number to 40 students/40 businesses, so that we could focus on improving the matching process.
1.2    In July 2014, the project was expanded and other schools in London were invited to participate. 74 young people benefited from placements with a number of niche companies. 64 young people attended the celebratory event at City Hall, together with representatives from their schools and some of the businesses that hosted students. 
1.3    The Inspiresme Week project provides young people with first-hand experience of what it takes to run a business, as well as opening up potential career routes in sectors which they may not have considered.
1.4    This is the second year of the roll-out of the project and Workspace Group will continue to be a partner in Inspiresme Week 2015 and will contribute towards the costs of the delivery organisation. The project will be opened up to more schools and businesses and we will also seek to secure additional partners to support the future roll-out of the programme.
1.5    This decision will approve the receipt of £15,000 from Workspace Group and continue the partnership between the GLA and Workspace Group established under the Mayor’s Academies Programme, enabling the roll-out of the Inspire Me Week project to other schools across London. If the match funding for the project is not secured the project size will be reduced accordingly.


Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    There are three objectives to the project:

•    Encourage more young people to set up their own businesses. Students will benefit from a one-week placement with gaining first-hand experience of what it takes to run a business. They will also participate in a business challenge that will be judged by a guest panel at a celebratory event, hosted by the GLA/Mayor. 

•    Test approaches for improving the engagement between schools and businesses. The model focuses on how large corporate bodies such as Workspace Group can facilitate the engagement between SME’s and schools to deliver high quality work experience opportunities.

•    Enhance the entrepreneurship activities delivered by schools. The Inspires Me Week project extends the entrepreneurship experience beyond the classroom. The model also helps schools engage with specialist companies that they find difficult to establish links with. 


2.2    The 2014-15 we achieved 74 placements out of a programme target of 100 placements, of which:

•    40 were offered to the LAET academies
•    60 were opened to (between 5 and 8) additional schools/sixth forms

2.3    90% of students felt they had achieved their objectives for Inspiresme Week. 50% students felt this programme had inspired them to someday set up their own enterprises. 81% students felt the programme had helped them improve on some of the weaknesses they felt they had. 67% of those businesses surveyed were very satisfied with the experience, 33% were satisfied. 100% would agree to take part in the programme again.

2.4    The LAET academies did not take up all of their places. Therefore in 2015:

•    We will have a target of 120 placements for 16-18yr olds, which will be open to any school/sixth form in London, to include young people attending pupil referral units, alternative provision and the XLP youth charity which was opened in 1996 after a stabbing in a school playground. This charity is sponsored by the Workspace Group.

•    The programme also includes an apprentice-style business challenge and will culminate in a celebratory event hosted at City Hall.

Equality comments

3.1    The GLA undertook a series of consultation events as part of the Education Inquiry, which covered the new Careers Duty for schools that came into effect in September 2012. Many contributors identified the need to ensure schools are supported in meeting the duty. They also raised concern about the lack of availability of high quality work experience opportunities, which they see as an important mechanism for developing the skills of young people and facilitating progression. Employers (including representatives from the London Enterprise Panel) expressed concern that not enough is being done to prepare young people for the world of work and recognise that they are part of the solution. Entrepreneurship was highlighted as an important pathway, which is reflected in the Education Inquiry Final Report. 

3.2    The Inspires Me Week Project was developed under the under the Mayor’s Academies Programme, which was designed to ensure that young people from disadvantaged areas are provided with the same opportunities as those from more affluent backgrounds. One of the key objectives of the programme is to develop and promote successful initiatives to other schools. Impact assessments were undertaken during the development phase of the Mayor’s Academies Programme. 

3.3    Inspires Me Week is targeted at schools in disadvantaged areas/with a high percentage of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Schools will be responsible for identify the needs of their students, including any disability requirements. The schools and businesses will work together to agree how any additional support will be accommodated, as part of the matching process.

Other considerations

a) key risks and issues


Mitigation Strategy


Businesses do not engage

Recruitment will begin in April. This approach was taken in the first year of the project and we were able to successfully recruit 50 businesses.

Workspace Group Centre Manager JD’s have been updated to reflect the project requirements



Workspace Group

Schools do not engage

We will maximise partner contacts and the GLA schools database

GLA/Workspace/Delivery Partner


Workspace Group decide they do not wish to continue the project

The project will be evaluated at each phase to ensure lessons learned are captured.

An agreement will be drawn up as part of the roll-out of this programme that reflects the GLA’s intention to develop the model for other employment sectors should Workspace choose to pull out and the GLA decides to continue supporting the project.


b) links to Mayoral strategies and priorities 

The Inspires Me Week project sits under the ‘Preparing Young People for Life and Work in a Global City’ theme of the GLA Education programme. Two of the recommendations highlight the need to improve links between the education sector and employers; and to support schools in meeting their new Careers Duty so that young people are effectively prepared for the world of work.

The project also contributes to the London Enterprise Panel Growth and Jobs strategy. It is hoped that this project will inspire young people to purse entrepreneurship, thereby, providing an important boost to London’s economy.

The Inspiresme Week programme aligns with the 2014-20 European Structural Investment Programme (ESIF) which will support schools and colleges to devise effective careers guidance programmes and strengthen partnership working between businesses and schools. This will include CPD support for teaching staff and careers guidance leads. The programme will also support SME’s in London to develop high quality work experience, internships, and traineeship and apprenticeship opportunities.


Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought to support the roll-out of the Inspiresme Week project to schools in disadvantaged areas of London. This will include the following: 
•    Expenditure of up to a maximum of £30,000 to procure a project delivery organisation; and 
•    For the GLA to host a celebratory event at an estimated cost of £5,000.
5.2    The total cost of this proposal is estimated at £35,000 and the net cost to the GLA will be £20,000. The balance of £15,000 will be funded by the receipt of income from the Workspace Group. The GLA costs of £20,000 will be funded from the 2015-16 Academies budget held within the Health & Communities Unit. 

5.3    Any changes to this proposal, including budgetary implications will be subject to further approval via the Authority’s decision-making process. All appropriate budget adjustments will be made.

5.4    The Education & Youth Team within the Communities & Intelligence Directorate will be responsible for managing this project and ensuring that all expenditure adheres to the Authority’s Financial Regulations, Contracts & Funding Code and Expenses & Benefits Framework.

Planned delivery approach and next steps

6.1    The intention is to contract with a project delivery organisation which will be responsible for:

1.     Coordination - ensuring effective links between the schools and host businesses.
2.     Business Engagement – work with Workspace Group centre managers to engage the businesses that rent their premises to recruit them onto the programme, providing support on health and safety, safeguarding and guidance on how to deliver a high quality placement. The successful delivery partner will also work with the GLA and Workspace Group to identify potential business partners for future phases of the programme.
3.     Schools Engagement – utilise the delivery organisations existing network of schools to recruit pupils and effectively prepare them to go out on placement, support the participating schools, and match the students with the most appropriate business.
4.     Evaluation - carry out an evaluation with the students and participating businesses.
    The following elements will be jointly managed by the GLA and Workspace Group:
5.     Promotion – Development of a communication plan, capitalising on the success of Inspiresme Week 2014 and the GLA Business Backs Education, Mayor’s Education Conference and other GLA linkages with schools.
6.     Celebratory Event - the event will be hosted by the GLA. Guest judges will be invited and prizes awarded to the winning group. This budget approval includes venue costs and other costs associated with the event, should City Hall not be available. The GLA will be responsible for this element of the budget (£5,000) and will follow GLA procurement processes.
7.    Key Milestones
•    Internal GLA Approval – February 2015
•    Procurement of Delivery Partner – March 2015
•    Project Promotion Campaign Underway – End March 2015
•    Inspiresme Week 2015 and Celebratory Event – July 2015
•    Partner Evaluation Meeting – August 2015

8.     Future Activity – This year the GLA and Workspace Group will work with the appointed delivery partner to identify other business support organisations that could potentially become partners in the programme.

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