Tomorrow’s Talent | Walpole’s National Schools Programme

Today sees the launch of Walpole’s newest initiative: Tomorrow’s Talent, our first secondary education and schools programme, with a new partnership with The Chelsea Academy, an outstanding Academy in South West London.

Tomorrow’s Talent will connect businesses from Walpole’s membership with their local schools to provide students aged 11-18 with direct knowledge and experience in roles available within the sector, enabling them to make important decisions before entering further education, training or employment.

Matt Williams, Principal of Chelsea Academy said: “We are looking forward to working with Walpole and their members to create pathways into British industry for Chelsea Academy students. The Academy is an outstanding, successful and forward-thinking school and we are committed to offering our students world class opportunities, as ensuring that they have the skills to be well rounded and employable young people. We are delighted to be partnering with Walpole to give students opportunities to work with leading British designers and companies.”

Helen Brocklebank, CEO, Walpole commented: “British luxury is a vibrant, thriving sector with highly skilled employment opportunities the length and breadth of country. School students are not finding out about and interacting with business early enough. We know that students who have four or more interactions with business before leaving school reduce their chance of becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) in by 85%. We hope to change that”.

“Equally, the brands within Walpole’s membership cannot find skilled workers for their workshops, factories and showrooms, so closing the skills gap has become a priority for the sector, especially in the context of Brexit. We’re delighted to be working with Chelsea Academy to inspire the next generation of students and demonstrate the range of careers available in luxury.”

Luxury is the only sector in the economy for which it is customer critical to manufacture and produce in the UK, and British luxury businesses employ over 110,000 people in long-term, sustainable and regional jobs throughout the whole of the British Isles
Tomorrow’s Talent is launching nationally in association with The Careers & Enterprise Company, an umbrella organisation funded by the Department for Education that aims to ensure that every young person is inspired and prepared for the world of work. Tomorrow’s Talent sits within Walpole’s Luxury in the Making initiative that addresses the critical challenges around the talent pipeline in the British luxury sector; currently worth over £32 billion to the UK economy.

Claudia Harris, CEO, The Careers & Enterprise Company added: “We are delighted to be working with Walpole and its members to bring the world of work in the luxury market to life for young people. This new programme will deliver exciting opportunities for young people in areas of greatest need across the country. I encourage all businesses, large and small, in the British luxury market to engage with young people to bring entrepreneurialism and creativity to life and help them have the bright futures they deserve.”

Walpole aims to have 15 luxury companies join the programme in the first 12 months, growing to 30 in the second year. With support from The Careers & Enterprise Company, luxury brands joining the programme will be able to provide encounters and workplace experiences for young people, share knowledge with teachers to raise awareness of training opportunities and jobs available and provide leadership by becoming a volunteer a CEC Enterprise Advisor and working to work closely with a local school or college to help them develop strong and effective practical careers and enterprise plans. There are 2,000 schools and colleges within the CEC’s network.