A Tarmac 1st as Solutions for the Planet National Partner
We have continued our close partnership with our colleagues at Solutions for the Planet, a national programme that helps to build partnerships between young people, businesses and local communities to develop new ideas that make the world better.
The programme inspires new ways of thinking which help young people to develop new business ideas to tackle sustainability challenges. The programme is now in its fourth year with Tarmac continuing to deliver real benefit to all those involved, so much so that in 2017 we became the scheme's first national partner, extending the Tarmac programme to cover our North and Scotland region in addition to programmes already running in the West Midlands and South East.
The partnership will encourage children to come up with ‘Big Ideas’ as part of an award-winning sustainability and enterprise initiative for schools – and you could get involved. Solutions for the Planet is a social enterprise that connects industry-leading business expertise with enquiring young minds to tackle society’s most pressing environmental and economic challenges.
More than 10,000 11 to 14-year-old pupils have already benefited from the scheme over the last three years, which includes sustainability workshops and mentoring from partner organisations in the construction, utility and energy sectors. Following success in the West Midlands, Yorkshire and South-East England since its launch in September 2013, Solutions for the Planet’s Big Ideas programme is now being rolled out across the North of England and Scotland.
As the scheme’s first national partner, Tarmac will help deliver mentoring to participating Key Stage 3 pupils across the country, highlighting the importance of sustainability and raising awareness of career opportunities within the construction sector.
Dr Martyn Kenny, Sustainability director, said: “We’re really proud of our work with Solutions for the Planet, which has already seen many Tarmac employees volunteer to support pupils in tackling real-world sustainability issues and at the same time develop their own skills.
“The programme is a hugely enriching opportunity for both participants and our mentors, who teach new skills while benefiting from their students’ fresh thinking and original approach to business challenges. The programme is an important part of our engagement with our communities.”
Central to the initiative is the ‘Big Ideas’ competition, which sees pupils work with partner businesses like Tarmac, Arcadis, Brammer, Buck & Hickman, IGEM, Mears Group and SGN. The youngsters are then given help to build these ideas into robust business plans, which they present to panels of judges at local universities – giving them a taste of what a university is and does. Finalists then go on to present at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, in a national final each July.
As well as boosting students’ problem-solving abilities and STEM knowledge, Solutions for the Planet aims to raise awareness of career opportunities available in the participating industries.
Jen Baughan, CEO, Solutions for the Planet, said: “We are delighted to be taking our partnership with Tarmac to the national level. This academic year, our national partnership with Tarmac and region partnerships will see over 4,000 young people think about challenging sustainability issues and develop innovative, entrepreneurial solutions with the help of their business mentors.”
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Dr Martyn Kenny, Sustainability director