(L-R) Jan Donaldson, Head of Stakeholder Engagement, Young Enterprise NI; pupils from Parkhill Integrated College, Antrim; and Robyn McCaughey, Resourcing Specialist, Allen & Overy launch the Project Business Programme.

The Allen & Overy Foundation has pledged to support young people in Northern Ireland through the delivery of an entrepreneurship and enterprise skills programme called Project Business.

The programme will be delivered by the charity Young Enterprise, which develops the skills of around 90,000 young people every year to ensure they leave education prepared for work and for life.

The Project Business programme challenges teams of Year 10 and 11 students to create their own jewellery company.

The students learn teamwork and decision-making skills, specify their target market, delve into customer experience, branding and future planning.

The student teams will also take part in an interactive challenge to make bracelets and compete to become the most profitable company.

The GBP2000 funding has been allocated from the Allen & Overy Foundation, which is supported by contributions from A&O partners worldwide.

Funding for projects in Northern Ireland is administered each year by the Belfast Grants Committee with the overall aim to select successful projects that promote access to justice, social mobility or which support and develop education or employment projects.

Ciaran McCallion, Head of Human Resources and Member of the Belfast Grants Committee at Allen & Overy added: “As one of the world’s leading law firms, we recognise the importance of investing in local communities and preparing young people for the world of work.

“Supporting Project Business is a fantastic opportunity for students to discover and develop skills – team work, creativity, time management and communication – that are essential throughout their working lives, whilst reinforcing our core themes of advancing education and employment across Northern Ireland.

“Alongside the financial support that Allen & Overy provides, our legal and business support staff will be making a significant contribution by volunteering their time and skills to help deliver Project Business in schools across Northern Ireland.

“Giving back is an important part of what we deliver locally with our team in Belfast recording 4,900 hours of volunteering or pro bono work last year.”

Young Enterprise Chief Executive Carol Fitzsimons commented: “Project Business is an exciting, condensed enterprise experience that allows our young people develop practical business and life skills.

“The support of Allen & Overy will help us to meet the growing demand for practical programmes in the classroom that mean schools can prepare their students for the real world of work.

“We would like to extend our thanks to Allen & Overy for their support.

“Our team is looking forward to seeing the real-world positive impact of this on the young people we work with every day.”

For more information on Young Enterprise and the Project Business programme, visit:

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