Bright young things
PUBLISHED: 12:42 12 August 2014
Lindsay Want discovers how one local business association in Framlingham is nurturing fresh young talent
The historic market town of Framlingham is about to open a new bridge.
It has a pretty mighty gulf to span. It even promises to be life-changing and has the potential to make a highly positive impact on businesses, individuals and the community for years to come.
No surprise that a lot of people – particularly young people – are getting rather excited about it.
“The Fresh Aspirations Forum will give me access to so many new horizons,” enthuses Emelia Garvie, a year 11 student at Thomas Mills High School who, at 16, already knows that a degree at university with all its perceived costs and potential upheaval is just not for her.
“With its training sessions in all sorts of business skills, networking opportunities and chance to really get involved in and develop projects within the Framlingham community, I think the Forum will bridge the gap between school and starting a full blown apprenticeship or going into a job.”
“It’s all about developing a platform to build young people’s confidence and self-belief,” explains Jenny Stockman, chair of the Framlingham Business Association and leader of the innovative partnership project which welcome its first set of 30 stakeholder members, aged 11 to 25, in September.
“Not only will the Fresh Aspirations Forum arm youngsters with a toolkit of business skills which will grow with them and be really valuable, but as a Community Interest Company limited by shares, there’s capital for enterprise projects and a good potential to reward hard work with annual dividends.”
Fundamental to the project is the town’s partnership approach which stems from an underlying recognition of the need to expose young people to the widest range of business choices and raise their awareness of the extensive scope of businesses based in and around the town.
A grant from the district council’s Community Enabling Budget has kick-started the project, securing a ‘hot desk’ office space for over 16s at the Framlingham Technology Centre, lining up business skills training sessions as well as researching, IT equipment and facilities.