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Teach First and Bibby Line Group continue to work together to Give Something Back!

3.7 million children are currently living in poverty in the UK, with their socio-economic background having a significant impact on their future. The vision of Teach First is to ensure that no child’s educational success is limited by their personal circumstances, with the Giving Something Back team hosting an event in April to promote Bibby Line Group’s collaborative work with the charity. Paul Drechsler, Bibby Line Group’s and Teach First’s Chairman, discussed the pressures and inequality issues experienced by children within the educational system, whilst a teacher currently taking part in the programme spoke about his personal experience.

The event discussed the huge potential to make a positive impact within communities around England and Wales and was attended by around 30 employees at Bibby Line Group’s Head Office in Liverpool. Hannah Merron, Teach First’s representative, emphasised how our employees can get involved with the charity through various volunteer opportunities, including the chance to host a workplace visit to a group of young people or to become a coach to a Teach First teacher to help them to develop their professional goals both inside and outside the classroom.

Teach First place talented individuals in the most challenging schools throughout England and Wales to inspire children and young people to reach their true potential and develop their own transferable skills. The career aspirations of children are ultimately hindered by the lack of opportunity to venture from outside their local area and access the massive world of work that exists within contemporary society; those living in deprived areas are predominantly not exposed to the basic skills that we are accustomed to and can often take for granted. This can have a detrimental effect on their business prospects and ability to succeed in their chosen profession, or limit their knowledge of what is available to them in the wider context. The business sector and teachers can collaborate to make sure we give children and young people the best chance in life and realise their true potential – the greater the collaboration, the greater impact we can have on the future generation.

Teach First take an innovative approach to engaging young people, one of which is inviting a guest speaker into the classroom to deliver a session on a topic of their choice. The charity’s Guest Teacher Programme brings senior leaders in business and society back to school to teach a lesson, which was a task undertaken by Jacqui Barker, Group HR Director at Bibby Line Group. Jacqui joined a group of French and German students at Sutton Academy in St Helen’s, Merseyside, to talk about her career, Bibby Line Group and the importance of studying language at school. Students had the chance to learn a little more about Bibby Line Group, before Jacqui pitted French students and German students against each other in a language quiz, asking questions on the origins of words like ‘bicycle’ and ‘pyjamas’ as well as testing their knowledge on the number of languages spoken in Europe – approximately 230! (The competition was close, but the German students narrowly beat the French students to win!).

Jacqui also talked about the advantages that studying foreign languages gives and the different career opportunities this could create. By talking about her own career and her work with Audi, Jacqui illustrated that languages can open up a wide range of jobs beyond the expected translation and hospitality roles. Rosalind Lloyd, Faculty Leader of Languages at Sutton Academy said “I have had nothing but positive feedback from the students at our academy. They really enjoyed Jacqui's visit and also saw the benefits of learning a language when it comes to the world of work. I think the quiz was the biggest hit of the morning!”. Guest Teachers can inspire a classroom full of young people, empowering children from low-income communities to be all they can be – which is the main objective of Teach First as an organisation.

As previously mentioned, Bibby Line Group’s partnership with Teach First allows our employees to get involved and make a real difference to the lives of others, and the GSB team welcomes any of our UK based employees throughout England and Wales who wish to find out more information to contact community@bibbylinegroup.co.uk.