“Working with S4TP is a great opportunity for mutual learning, creating fresh ideas and providing young people with real-life business experience whilst giving them an insight into the incredible breadth of career opportunities on offer in our industry.”

Dr Martyn Kenny, Sustainability Director, Tarmac

Our work with businesses

We specialise in connecting businesses like yours with schools in their local community to solve social, environmental, and economic challenges while offering increased community engagement and youth participation. As a social enterprise, we currently deliver our award-winning Big Ideas Programme in several areas of the UK and we’re keen to expand. We work with businesses in sectors where there’s an urgent need to recruit and retain innovative thinkers and people with STEM skills (science, technology, engineering and maths). At the moment that’s mainly the energy, waste, manufacturing, engineering and construction sectors, though we’re always open to adding partners from new sectors.

Solving big challenges needs Big Ideas. That’s why we create environments that bring together experience and imagination, we inspire new ways of thinking and learning; and we generate ideas by connecting experienced minds from industry with enquiring minds from schools. We do this through our Big Ideas Programme, which gives employees the opportunity to mentor enthusiastic 11 to 14 year olds in schools local to their business.

Our Big Ideas Programme is an award-winning, community engagement programme and employee volunteering scheme. Employees volunteer their time and mentor the students to help them develop their Big Ideas.

Join our Business Partner Network

By joining us as a business partner, you’re not just expressing your corporate social responsibility or demonstrating your added social value, though these are great benefits. We’re as interested in your long-term bottom line as you are. We believe sustainable businesses invest in seeding their own future success.

We promote an integrated approach to social value. So we’re interested in supporting you with wider schools and employee engagement activities, e.g. getting more students to visit your sites, careers talks, and youth stakeholder panels etc.

As a Business Partner, you’re paramount to the programme’s success, so we’re always keen to talk to companies who’d like to discuss joining us. Your investment is both employee time and financial, and in return, your organisation gains a significant return on investment. Some of the benefits are outlined below, though we can craft your contribution to address your specific needs, such as stimulating innovation or diversity within your company.

National Final

Value for your business

Promote Sustainability

Stimulating sustainability solutions within your business and local communities. Increasing awareness of sustainability challenges and motivation to take action.

Career Insight

We help you educate schools, teachers, parents and students about the range of career opportunities in your company and the variety of routes to employment available.

Employee Development

As a Big Ideas Programme mentor, your employees improve their own mentoring, communication, collaboration and leadership skills through volunteer hours in the programme.

Build Links and Relationships

Through the programme you’ll engage with teachers, school managers, communities and other businesses local to your operating sites.

Improve Your Talent Pipeline

Together we help develop the employability and STEM skills of local young people, as the future generation of your potential employees and customers.

Networking Opportunities

We help you and your employees build new relationships both internally, between departments and sites, and externally with our wider stakeholder networks.

Stimulating Creativity

Working with young people helps stimulate your employees creativity and innovation better than any training course.

Positive PR

Your involvement provides a powerful vehicle for positive PR, locally and nationally, and demonstrates the social value added by your company.

Employee Engagement

We help you engage with your employees through promoting volunteering and showcasing the positive impact your mentors are having.

What do our current mentors and Business Partners say about the Programme?


Why not read through the profiles of our current mentors, see what they say about being involved in the programme or have a look at our existing range of partners to see how they’re benefiting from better community engagement and youth participation.