Inspiring Students in Futuristic Design and Development of Products

RS Components’ support for Young Enterprise expanded after two decades of involvement

RS Components (RS) the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE:ECM), the global multi-channel provider of industrial and electronic products and solutions, has expanded its support for the 2019 Young Enterprise initiative. RS, which has been involved with the programme for almost 20 years, hosted a week-long workshop at both its Corby head offices and the RS Local branch in Watford. These workshops provided a great opportunity to inspire local talented students to develop their design and engineering skills.

RS invited students to its offices in Corby from local schools including Northampton High School, Gartree High School, Kingsthorpe College, Northampton School for Boys, Northampton School for Girls, Rawlins Academy and The Duston School and gave them a challenge to repurpose everyday disposable items. Following this, the students will now work on their design projects for one month before sending them to the RS judging panel which includes Lindsley Ruth, Chief Executive of Electrocomponents. Up to ten finalists will be invited to the Group head office in London in June to present their projects back to the panel.

Earlier this month RS helped to curate the Young Enterprise presentation delivered to 130 gifted and talented Year 9 students from across the UK. The programme helps students build skills including marketing, finance and communications to aid employability. RS also provided STEM ambassadors as mentors for the students, available to them on each day of the week-long event.

Laura Giddings, STEM Education Manager, Northern Europe, commented: “RS has been working with the Young Enterprise programme for almost two decades, and we have extended our support this year to demonstrate our passion for inspiring young entrepreneurs, and our commitment to promote engineering. Young Enterprise’s mission statement is ‘to inspire and equip young people to learn and succeed through enterprise’ – an ambition which is close to our own, which is to enable and inspire tomorrow’s engineers to make more possible.

“Over the week, we have delivered valuable information about engineering and technology to the students and shown them how RS supports engineers and technologists. The students really enjoyed their time with RS, taking on board the knowledge and advice that was offered to them. We can’t wait to see how the efforts from this week will translate into designed products.”

Robin Neighbour, area manager for Young Enterprise in Northamptonshire, said: “We’re grateful for the support RS has given to Young Enterprise over the years. This year has been phenomenal with support on the presentation to students – which is a key part of inspiring them to participate in the initiative – and support with hosting and judging. We’re thrilled with the calibre of students coming through the programme and it’s been great to focus on the important area of technology and engineering.”

The deadline for entries is 26th April, with finalists announced on Friday 10th May. The finals will take place on 18th June 2019, when up to 60 students will be visiting the RS London office with their teachers. First, second and third place prizes will be awarded.

All Party Parliamentary Group launches inquiry into children in care and financial education

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Financial Education for Young People is today launching an inquiry into the current state of financial education available to children in care.

Launching the inquiry, Julian Knight, MP for Solihull and Chair of the APPG said:

“Understanding how to manage money is a key skill that is essential for all aspects of adult life. Financial education equips young people with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to lead independent lives, plan for the future and protect themselves from financial crime.

Access to good financial education is even more important for children in care who face tougher challenges when they leave the care system and become independent adults.

Our inquiry will look at the current challenges that looked after children face in accessing financial education and what we can do better to empower these young people to lead independent lives and successful careers once they leave care.”

In a previous report, the APPG established the importance of improving the scope and quality of financial education in schools1. The APPG’s new inquiry looks specifically into the financial education of children in care and the specific issues they face in accessing financial education.

Children in care often face tougher challenges than their peers. Research suggests:

  • People who have their family to help them prepare for adult life are less likely to fall into debt or financial difficulty than those without this support network
  • Care leavers often reach financial independence at a younger age and with less support than their peers, and there are some indications they are at greater risk of lower financial capability – looked after children aged 7–17 are less likely than their peers to be able to explain choices made when spending money, and at age 16–17, they are more likely to score worse on measures of money management like managing a day-to-day budget or allowance, and understanding choices have to be made when spending


The inquiry will consider what measures are currently being undertaken to support children in care with their financial education and what can be done to better support this group of vulnerable young people in forming positive financial habits. This issue is particularly relevant as the first cohort of children in care will soon be able to access their Child Trust Fund savings, which was provided by Government between 2002 and 2011. The APPG is grateful to the Money Advice Service for supporting the inquiry.

The APPG is keen to hear from local authorities, care providers, charities, academics, care leavers, fosters carers, schools and other organisations and individuals involved in this space. The deadline for the submission of written evidence is 31st January 2019 and the APPG plans to hold a number of oral evidence sessions in the first quarter of 2019, before publishing an inquiry report. Evidence can be submitted by sending a word document to the APPG Secretariat at [email protected]


Full remit of the inquiry

First ever financial education textbook to hit schools


After a long campaign financial education became part of the National Curriculum in 2014, yet to date there has been no financial education textbook to help teachers and pupils get to grips with this crucial new subject. Today two of the leaders of that campaign have teamed together to publish ‘Your Money Matters’, the first ever curriculum-mapped financial education textbook which will be sent for free to senior schools. Written by the financial education charity Young Money, with guidance by Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert, who’s £325,000 personal donation funded the project.


The textbook, which is aimed at ages 15 to 16, has received the support of the Government. All 3,400 state-funded schools in England will receive 100 free copies of the 150-page textbook, typically enough for 1 textbook per two pupils, as well as copies of a linked teacher’s guide. A PDF of the textbook is also available for free for anyone who wants to download it at


What is in the textbook? Financial education is currently primarily split across the Maths and Citizenship curriculums, as well as within the non-statutory element of PSHE. Your Money Matters is aimed at helping secondary school students make informed choices about managing their money now and in the future, within that curriculum. The educational textbook contains facts and information as well as interactive activities and questions for the students to apply their knowledge. The chapters are as follows 1. Savings – ways to save, interest, money and mental health 2. Making the most of your money – budgeting, keeping track of your budget, ways to pay, value for money, spending) 3. Borrowing – debt, APR, borrowing products, unmanageable debt. 4. After school, the world of work – student finance, apprenticeships, earnings, tax, pensions, benefits. 5. Risk and reward – investments, gambling, insurance. 6. Security and fraud – identify theft, online fraud, money mules.


Why do we need a textbook? The textbook is important for teaching young adults how to manage their money at a time when young people are facing an increasing number of complex financial decisions. It responds to the findings identified in the report ‘Financial Education: Two Years On – Job Done?’ by the APPG on Financial Education for Young People, which pointed to an urgent need for resources and support for teachers and students.


Martin Lewis comments:

“I passionately believe that financial education could have a huge impact on the future wellbeing of millions of young people. When we got financial education on the national curriculum in 2014, we celebrated thinking the job was done. We were wrong. Schools have struggled with resources and there’s been little teacher’s training. Something else was needed to make it easy for schools and teachers.” “I still wrestle with whether it’s right that a private individual should fund this. Yet nothing else was forthcoming, and pragmatics outweigh principles. We live in one of the world’s most competitive consumer economies, with companies spending billions on advertising, marketing and teaching their staff to sell, yet we don’t get any buyer’s training. That needs to change. We need to break the cycle of debt. The best place to teach is in the classroom – I hope this textbook will help make that easier.”


Michael Mercieca, CEO at Young Money comments:

“We’re delighted to have worked with Martin Lewis on this pioneering project to produce these important educational materials which will help many students and teachers across the country. Financial education is a topic that still doesn’t always get the recognition in the education system that it deserves, despite its fundamental importance for everyday life. It’s vital to the personal wellbeing of individuals and to the country that we improve the education of young people in this area to give them the best possible chance of success in the future.”


Julian Knight MP, Chair of the APPG on Financial Education for Young People comments:

“I’m delighted that we now have a practical resource for the classroom to help ensure financial education is more consistent in schools and that students leave the education system adequately prepared for their financial futures. A need for classroom resource was a key factor identified in the APPG’s Report ‘Financial Education in Schools: Two Years On – Job Done?’ so the brand new textbook and teacher guide are an excellent outcome of the report.’


Nick Gibb MP, Minister for School Standards comments:

“Economic and financial education are an important part of a broad and balanced curriculum, and provide the essential knowledge that young people need to manage their finances and succeed in the modern world. Both the Department for Education and HM Treasury support high-quality resources for schools to help deliver this, and I would like to commend Martin Lewis and Young Money for making this new textbook available.”




Hendon school wins the UK’s most entrepreneurial school

On 7th November, Hendon school in London were awarded with a UK Entrepreneurial School (TES) Award, at the ceremony hosted in Vienna, for their cutting-edge vision and outstanding implementation of entrepreneurship education programmes.

The school has developed a Smart Futures programme of Learning, which is incorporated into the School Development plan.

The TES Awards is an annual recognition, led by JA Europe, which recognises 17 outstanding primary and secondary schools championing entrepreneurship education. The Awards aim to provide a supportive and motivational framework to guide schools, headmasters and teachers from across Europe in their entrepreneurial learning initiatives.

Hendon have consistently demonstrated that enterprise and entrepreneurial education is embedded throughout the whole school, by working alongside over 150 businesses who provide career opportunities and enhance creativity and resilience amongst their students. They have close relationships with large businesses such as Reed, the Marriot Hotel Group and Nomura Investment Bank, and every year all 1200 of their students receive high quality enterprise education experiences.

Representatives from the school attended the fourth edition of the Entrepreneurial School Awards, which took place in Vienna. Headteachers and teachers from the 17 other award-winning schools from across Europe also attended the ceremony, which was hosted by Siemens.

Caroline Jenner, CEO of JA Europe, said: “If we want to prepare youth for the future of jobs, we need to ensure they are equipped with the right skills today. Schools, teachers and families therefore have an essential role to play in fostering not only their academic skills but their soft/entrepreneurial skills as well, with a strong focus on practical experiences. Next century schools will definitely look like the Entrepreneurial School awardees.”

Wolfgang Hesoun, CEO of Siemens Austria, comments: “A proper education is the key for young people to get to know themselves, their strengths and interests. Therefore, we make sure to provide and help our employees to develop their professional and personal skills and offer young people, especially apprentices, the education which suits their individual background.”

J.P.Morgan Partnership in Dorset and South Hampshire


Dorset and South Hampshire students are set to benefit from J.P. Morgan’s support to gain new employability skills and experience, as part of an innovative 2-year employability programme from Young Enterprise. 

The JPMorgan Chase Foundation has provided a grant to Young Enterprise, the UK’s leading enterprise education charity, to support the delivery of a new innovative employability journey called ‘DASH’. The Foundation’s two-year grant will support the delivery of the programme in schools and colleges right across Dorset and the New Forest.  

As part of DASH over 1800 students will undertake a 12 hour employability masterclass with many then taking up the opportunity of a local workplace visit or experience. The programme will build their confidence, enhance their communication, team work, planning and leadership skills, and provide an insight into business and employment life, especially among ‘in-demand’ sectors such as STEM. The programme culminates each year with a ‘key competencies’ event where students will have the opportunity to ‘match’ their skills with the employability skills demanded by local employers.  

As a result of the programme students will be better prepared and make more informed decisions on their educational/career pathways, new relationships will be formed between schools and local employers, young people will have an increased awareness of STEM sector employment opportunities and apprenticeship offers promoted.  

J.P. Morgan has a Technology & Operations centre in Bournemouth with a strong history of community engagement with partners such as Dorset Young Enterprise. Over the past 10 years, the two organisations have collaborated on a number of community development and education-based initiatives in the Bournemouth and Poole area. 

Gary Ford, Managing Director, J.P. Morgan, Bournemouth said, “J.P. Morgan firmly believes that all members of our local communities should have a chance to take part in and benefit from the wider economy. As the way that people work and the types of jobs available are ever-changing, now more than ever it’s crucial that young people, particularly those who may need more support, are able to make informed choices about their future career choices. We are proud to be supporting the DASH project and are keen to see the project have a positive impact on the lives of local young people.” 

Michael Mercieca, Chief Executive Officer for Young Enterprise says “we are grateful to J.P. Morgan for this funding which will directly enable young people to develop essential employability skills and mindset, understand local employment opportunities and be inspired to improve their own prospects for sustainable employability in the 21st Century” 

Businesses, community organisations and individuals who would like to be part of this exciting project should contact Hannah Cook on 07918564958 or e-mail [email protected]




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London Students Win European Enterprise Competition


Young entrepreneurs from St Paul’s school, London, who had already won the HSBC UK Young Enterprise Company of the Year at the Young Enterprise national final, have been crowned European Company of the Year at the Junior Achievement European final in Belgrade.

The team faced stiff competition from 33,977 schools in 40 countries across Europe. The runners up were teams from Finland: ‘Bugman’s Best’ (a nutricious snack made out of locally grown crickets), and Italy: ‘OKelvin’ (tags to inform you when your drink is at the right temperature).

The winning UK team, ‘SureLight’ created from scratch and sold an innovative and unique smart brake light for bicycles, improving cycle safety.

The European Company of the Year competition was held in Belgrade, Serbia on 18th July and was the 29th year of the award.

‘Surelight’ competed in the Young Enterprise Company of the Year competition. Young Enterprise in the UK works with over 250,000 students every year and this year over 15,000 young people set up and ran a real business with Company Programme.

The overall winning European Company of the Year team is judged against a strict set of criteria including innovation, sales, marketing, financial performance, social impact and teamwork. ‘SureLight’ from London wowed judges with their company report, trade stand, interview, and presentation.

Luke, Operations Director from ‘SureLight’ said: “Fantastic. Incredible. Amazing. It is not what we expected at all. It’s been an amazing experience and we’re just so thankful to the judges and the sponsors for everything.”

Company Programme students develop their key employability skills by making all the decisions about their business, from deciding the company name and product, to creating a business plan, managing their finances and selling their products. A longitudinal study of Company Programme alumni has shown that in the two years following their company’s closure, 94% are in education, employment or training [EET] – 7% higher than the national rate.

Michael Mercieca, Chief Executive of Young Enterprise, said: “The students did amazingly well. They impressed the judges with their innovative product, clever design, commercial acumen and perseverance in overcoming the inevitable problems they encountered along their 11 month journey. The Young Enterprise

Company programme is challenging for students but unique in the skills and attitudes it embeds in participants. We need more of it in the UK to boost skills, entrepreneurship and community spirit.”


For more information contact Young Enterprise on 020 7330 9483 or email [email protected]