The Buckinghamshire Opportunity:
Buckinghamshire is the entrepreneurial heart of Britain where, for well over a decade, more businesses have started than anywhere else in the UK. In Buckinghamshire the heartbeat of enterprise is strong; we act decisively to successfully exploit new ideas and opportunities. It is no accident that we are the creative film engine for James Bond and Star Wars at Pinewood Studios, the home of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and the birthplace of the Paralympic movement at Stoke Mandeville. In Bucks, there is an over-representation in all the Plan for Growth sectors including life-sciences, space, creative industries and advanced engineering, and our economic growth will be fuelled by the supply of a skilled, flexible workforce needed by our firms.
To achieve this, it is important that our young people feel connected to the world of work through their education, to see the relevance of what they are learning, and to discover the many varied careers, opportunities and progression routes that are available to them. ‘Enterprise’ in its broadest sense needs to be as intrinsic to education as music and sport are. For this to be possible, business involvement is essential to bring commercial learning and experience into the classroom, to develop in our young people the vital soft skills such as problem-solving, decision-making, confidence, professionalism, teamwork and leadership to prepare them for the world of work.
OppsinBucks is the platform for people in education and people in business to connect, and to work together to deliver practical skills and real experience based learning opportunities including workshops, real business challenges, live briefs from industry and work experience.
The vision is of a two-way inspiration and mentorship between people in business and students, where all gain from the experience.
Jack Welch, former chief executive of General Electric, was one of the first to champion reverse mentoring, back in 1999. As the internet was gaining traction, he paired twenty-somethings with senior executives to teach them the new technology. In the past few years, this form of mentoring has been spreading rapidly, largely focused on social media and mobile technology but also on diversity issues and how the age group known as millennials want to work. (20.11.13, ft.com)
Through this platform, people in business can find out more about their customer group, future employees, and run live briefs by and set challenges for the innovative and disruptive young minds – and just see what comes back!
OppsinBucks is an inclusive strategic approach to education business links in Buckinghamshire. OppsinBucks will broker and facilitate education business links across all partners.
It is the online platform for the Bucks Skills Hub.
Skills Development Manager
CIM qualified, corporate and SME experienced, Jackie has run her own creative agency in London’s Charlotte Street for clients such as Warner Vision, Sony Pictures and Odeon Cinemas. Since 2010, Jackie has taught and mentored adults and 16-18 year olds to start their own businesses at the Peter Jones Enterprise Academy where she was also the Business Enterprise Manager, responsible for engaging and involving industry and commerce in the learning experience. She is still involved in managing high profile creative projects for her Patchwork design company and brings to the Skills Development Manager role a useful balance of current business acumen and education experience. Outside of work, she likes cross country running (subject to temperamental knees) and time out with the family.
Under 19 Skills Manager
Having graduated in Business Studies and completing a graduate trainee program with IBM, Marina then moved into Investment Banking, specialising in Latin American equity fund management, which made use of her language skills. Having had a keen interest in training and development, Marina trained to be a teacher of Business. She has always believed in involving business in the classroom and embraced the ethos of the Peter Jones Academy ‘bringing the boardroom into the classroom’. She has a sound knowledge of the FE sector. Marina enjoys time spent with family and dogs.
Luisa has worked in marketing and PR roles across the corporate, voluntary and public sectors, including Penguin Books, Dorling Kinderley, the NSPCC, local government and a stint in Malawi working for a local NGO. CIM and CIPR qualified, her communication skills complement a role which involves creating links between schools, businesses and partner organisations and addressing audiences from teachers and pupils to parents and employers. Outside work, Luisa is Vice Chair of Governors for a primary federation which enables her to keep up with the latest developments in education. She spends whatever time is left trying to keep fit so she can keep up with the rest of the family.
Harriet has previously worked in sport, health engagement and education with schools and runs her own Personal Training business. Continuing her passion for working with schools, Harriet joined the team in January 2018 and supports schools in the North of the County to connect education with enterprise and provide young people plentiful opportunities at school relating to the world of work. Aside from work and Personal Training, Harriet has a keen interest in CrossFit, weightlifting and the outdoors.
Who manages OppsinBucks?
OppsinBucks is managed by Buckinghamshire Business First in partnership with Buckinghamshire Skills Hub, part of Buckinghamshire Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership.
Skills & Employability Board Membership
Chair: Rebecca Bunting – Vice Chancellor, Buckinghamshire New University. Also a member of the BTVLEP and BBF Boards
School Representative: Robert Preston, Head Teacher, Misbourne School
FE Representative: Karen Mitchell, Principal, Buckinghamshire College Group
HE Representative: John Spoerry, Head of Professional and Executive Development, University of Buckingham
IAG Representative: Sue Gale, Delivery Director designate, Adviza Partnership
Private Sector Training Provider: Vaccant
Local Authority Representative Elected Member: Mike Appleyard, Deputy Leader, Bucks County Council
Local Authority Representative Officer: Gill Harding, Commercial Development Director, Buckinghamshire County Council
Employer Representative 2 (Life Sciences & Medical Technologies): Vacant
Employer Representative 3 (Information Economy): Dave Oxley, Senior Software Security Architect, McAfee
Employer Representative 4 (Health & Social Care): Emma Wilton, Education & Workforce Manager, Health Education Thames Valley
Employer Representative 5 (Business Services): Martin Reed, Chairman, Thomas International
Employer Representative 6 (Creative Industries – Film & TV): Ailie Smith, CEO, Creative Media Skills Vice Chair of the Skills Board
Employer Representative 7 (Construction): Mark Warrilow, Skills Manager (Skills, Employment & Education) HS2 Ltd
Employer Representative 8 (Engineering): Mark Wood, COO and Engineering Director, Reaction Engines
JCP Representative: Jon Wood, Partnerships Manager, DWP
Buckinghamshire Business First Representative: Heather Dean, Head of Business Support and Skills
The Skills Board is supported by the BTVLEP’s Skills Development Manager (Jackie Campbell) and Partnership Manager (Ian Barham) from the BTVLEP Executive.
A volunteer from business is an individual from business who participates in education business link opportunities through Oppsinbucks. Employer involvement is supported by the team at the Hub who are on hand to assist if required.
An educator is a school or a college represented by the careers coordinators, teachers, heads of year or department who register their profiles. It is possible for more than one representative to register profiles from each school or college.
This is an activity posted on the OppsinBucks website by an employer, offering support from business.Learn more about business offers
This is an activity posted on the OppsinBucks website by an educator, that requires support from business.
OppsinBucks recognises that volunteers from business have many demands on their time and we only ask for as much or as little as each individual can manage – flexible involvement is key.
An OppsinBucks partner is an organisation or individual that supports the principles of OppsinBucks (see list above). In addition, the Hub will bring together all the existing delivery partners and initiatives in the county to help reduce duplication and ensure an effective and efficient deployment of local resources.
An employer-led initiative that is committed to embedding enterprise culture in secondary schools through active employer involvement. A dynamic partnership between educators and employers committed to ensuring school leavers are prepared for the world of work through active and experiential learning and core competencies gained.
Initially OppsinBucks will focus on supporting secondary schools with activities that:
- develop employability skills,
- promote local growth sectors/sectors of skills shortage as career/training choices and
- enhance careers education, information, advice and guidance
Complete a registration form on this site to set up your OppsinBucks account. You need to clarify if you are from a business, from a school or Co-ordinator/Partner. Once you have submitted your registration form OppsinBucks will be in touch to confirm your registration and let you know how to post offers or requests for support.
After you submit your registration form, if it’s approved by OppsinBucks you will be sent a username and password so you can manage and update your OppsinBucks profile. Your profile will be included in a directory for other OppsinBucks community members to view. It will also be a means for them to contact you through the OppsinBucks website. Registration will also enable you to list and respond to OppsinBucks opportunities or requests.
Add your name and organisation and a photo. Make sure your profile is as complete as possible, you can link to your LinkedIn profile and other social networks.
Terms and conditions for OppsinBucks:
By using our website, you accept these terms and conditions in full; if you disagree with these terms and conditions or any part of these terms and conditions, you must not register or delete your account:
Upon registration, you agree to:
- Adhere to school safeguarding policies (each school will have the responsibility for child protection and safeguarding for its own students)
- Notify OppsinBucks if the service is used to sell a product/service
- Inform OppsinBucks if a listing is hosted elsewhere
- Inform OppsinBucks of any changes to listings
- Raise any issues associated with the OppsinBucks website, any OppsinBucks activity and
- OppsinBucks contacts with the OppsinBucks Content Manager in the first instance.
- Give feedback on your experience of using the OppsinBucks website, any OppsinBucks activities and contacts.
- Share information on your experience for case studies if requested.
You can keep up to date by subscribing to the OppsinBucks updates (when you register, you’ll automatically be enrolled) or contact us for a chat.