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Evaluation of Business Class

Business Class is a national programme run by Business in the Community (BITC).

The purpose of Business Class is to improve the way in which schools and employers can work together. The ultimate aim is to help pupils prepare for the world of work. By learning from employers about the types of skill they are looking for from the people they recruit, pupils will be better able to plan for their futures.

Through Business Class pupils can engage in a number of different activities, including:

work experiencebusiness visitspresentations from Businessattending careers fairsundertaking special projects designed with the help of local employersreceiving one-to-one advice from a business mentorpractice or mock job interviews

To test whether Business Class helps improve pupils’ understanding of how the labour market works, it is being evaluated by the University of Warwick Institute for Employment Research.

More detailed information:

Business Class is a nationally coordinated programme of school-business brokerage. The programme has been funded by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills for two years from September 2013 to August 2015. The programme is co-ordinated and managed by Business in the Community (BITC) and the programme builds upon BITC’s long experience of engaging business in education and developing partnership.

At the heart of Business Class is the construction of a three year partnership between an individual school and a business. Approximately five partnerships are grouped together into small local clusters supported by a local coordinator who facilitates communication and cooperation within each partnership but also across the cluster. Each school that joins Business Class completes a needs assessment and defines the objectives that it hopes to achieve through the programme.

There are currently over 196 Business Class partnerships organised in some 43 clusters across the UK. Business Class aims to build 500 partnerships by 2015 and to impact upon the lives of around 70,000 young people. Clusters are active or in development in all English regions and in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Business Class aims to offer employer engagement in education which is locally tailored but nationally resourced and coordinated: it can address national as well as local objectives; it can draw upon national funding; it can establish national standards for quality assurance and management and it can work with national employers. It offers a model which can be extended geographically and which can be targeted at schools and learners most in need.


Key contacts:



Business in the Community