Invest in our youth and help your business through the recession

Catherine Marchant of YENE Catherine Marchant of YENE

Companies in the North East are being urged not to abandon their community work as many businesses tighten their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) budgets during the current recession.

Catherine Marchant, chief executive of enterprise education charity Young Enterprise North East, is pointing out the benefits of one area where businesses can hit their CSR targets and concentrate on increasing their own profitability - staff training.

With ongoing economic uncertainty, CSR budgets are being scrutinised more, yet it can cost businesses less than £25 to turn around a child's life and help them to embrace an enterprising attitude in order to prepare them for the real world of work.

YENE's programmes are delivered by volunteers from the region's business community, and often they are used as a vital part of the career development plan, as they are given experience in presentation skills, mentoring, teamwork and problem solving - as well as in depth business planning strategy - by working for YENE in a school.

Catherine Marchant said: "CSR might seem an easy budget to cut when the chips are down, but we are urging companies to see the benefits in keeping their community work going through the downturn. Most especially investing in our young people whilst still at school can help drive enterprising attitudes, which will impact not only on their future, but on the strength of the region's future economy.

"Our volunteers give us feedback on how beneficial working with young people on our programmes has been for their own development. It is real practical training in action, and is helping our future generation at the same time. We are hoping as CSR budgets are cut, that we can still encourage local businesses to support YENE by seeing the benefits to them in training their staff."

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