business and education

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1 Final Report Carried out by Sponsored by

2 Contents 1 Introduction 2 Our approach 1 3 Executive summary 3 4 Involvement in corporate citizenship 5 5 Involvement in volunteering 11 6 Impact of volunteering 18 7 The role of business in educating young people 20 8 Perceptions of JA-YE 25 9 Respondent profile 31

3 1 Introduction 2 Our approach JA-YE Europe is Europe s largest provider of entrepreneurship education programmes and is the European headquarters for JA Worldwide. JA-YE provides young people in primary and secondary schools and early university with highquality education programmes to teach them about enterprise, entrepreneurship, business and economics in a practical way. The JA-YE Company Programme is recognised by the European Commission Enterprise Directorate General as demonstrating Best Practice in Entrepreneurship Education. JA-YE commissioned FreshMinds Research to investigate the role of business in society and the impact of volunteering and corporate citizenship on developing skills in young people. JA-YE intends to use the research to implement the following objectives: ʯʯ ʯʯ ʯʯ ʯʯ ʯʯ Increase the number of volunteers participating in JA-YE programmes Increase awareness of the value of volunteering to the economy and society Reward and recognise CSR and volunteering activities Change mindsets towards CSR, volunteering and community involvement Assess the importance of business engagement in education at all ages FreshMinds designed an approach to investigate the impact that volunteering and corporate citizenship activities have on developing skills in young people. Our approach comprised three key stages: ʯʯ ʯʯ ʯʯ Planning and fieldwork design Fieldwork: survey either completed online by respondents or completed face-to-face by JA-YE interviewers and inputted Analysis and reporting The diagram below summarises our approach to the research. Key Carried out by FreshMinds Carried out by JA-YE Kick-off meeting Script online survey Design survey The overall aim of the research was to build a case for volunteering as a means of building skills in young people through exploring business people s attitudes, aspirations and actions regarding the role of business in society and the added value of volunteering and community support. ʯʯ Assess JA-YE image and its impact in the community Conduct face-to-face interviews Launch survey Collate responses Analysis and reporting 1

4 FreshMinds designed and scripted an online survey. The link was then provided to JA-YE who circulated it and encouraged participation. 517 business leaders completed the survey. This report comprises an executive summary which draws out the key themes and sections which address each of the questions included in the survey. We begin by exploring the involvement of businesses in corporate citizenship and volunteering. We consider motivations for involvement and the impact on individual businesses, wider society and young people. We seek to understand the role of business specifically in preparing young people for employment and perceptions of JA-YE s contribution to this. Note on the sample JA-YE handled recruitment of respondents largely through its network of contacts across Europe, resulting in a survey sample which, in general, has some involvement in JA-YE s activities. The survey respondent group is therefore skewed to some extent towards organisations that are arguably more likely than average to be involved in volunteering and / or corporate citizenship activities. Methodological note In order to deepen our analysis, we analysed the survey data against different variables, including country, sector, organisation size and international status. Where this yielded useful results, we have included this analysis in the report. However, in most instances, base sizes or the differences between data points were too small to provide more granular analysis and draw further meaning from the data. 3 Executive summary This summary describes key findings from the survey. Business should play an active role in education The respondents believe that their organisations have an important role to play in the development of society and young people by volunteering and engaging in corporate citizenship activities. Having a positive social impact as an organisation is the main reason for this. The main issues with which organisations engage are education, local community and young people. The majority of survey respondents (66%) indicated that the economic downturn had not had an effect on their corporate citizenship activities, which further emphasises the importance of its role to European businesses. European businesses feel overwhelmingly positive about the impact of volunteering. Respondents stated that volunteering has equally high value for the development of skills in future generations, society in general, respondents organisations and respondents employees. This is a visual representation of the values that CEOs of European businesses associate with the impact of volunteering: 2 3

5 Volunteering is felt to develop a wide range of positive attributes amongst employees, of which enthusiasm, teamwork and sense of work rank highest. However, the majority of respondents (56%) indicated that less than 25% of their employees are involved in volunteering, which suggests that more could be done to increase engagement. Volunteering helps young people be better prepared to enter the working place The development of young people is felt to be an important part of engaging in corporate citizenship activities. 87% of respondents stated that business involvement in developing young people was very important. A clear majority of survey respondents (88%) stated their involvement in preparing young people for employment by exposing them to business. The extent to which businesses consider their country s education system to be effectively equipping young people to work varies between countries. The education systems of Ireland, Denmark and Norway are felt to be particularly effective in this respect, while those of Greece, Slovakia, Poland and Portugal are felt to be less so. There is a good match between the skills developed by JA-YE and the skills that business people felt were poorly developed by education systems The majority of businesses (approximately 70%) feel that the development of entrepreneurial and financial skills is particularly poor in their country. The soft skills necessary for entry into employment (such as confidence, presentation skills, networking, motivation, drive and teamwork) are felt to be particularly lacking. JA-YE s programmes are felt to counter these particular skills gaps well, with 81% of respondents stating that programmes make a reasonable difference or make a great difference in equipping young people for the future. To encourage businesses to further engage with the development of young people, respondents primarily suggested that JA-YE should increase awareness of its programmes within the business and education communities. 4 Involvement in corporate citizenship This section explores the general context of business involvement in corporate citizenship and the nature of individual organisational involvement. We consider attitudes and motivations to involvement, and the key activities and issues in which businesses are involved. Thinking about the role of business in society, how important do you think it is that businesses invest financially in community support activities? Financial investment from businesses in community support activities was felt by the majority of respondents (91%) to be either quite important or very important. Respondents from USoriginated organisations were marginally more likely than respondents from European-originated organisations to indicate that this is very important (49% US compared with 40% European). 4 5

6 Considering the target groups who benefit, to what extent do you think that business-education partnerships are effective? Business-education partnerships were felt by 89% of respondents to be quite effective or very effective. Thinking about the corporate citizenship activities that your organisation may be involved in, which of the following does your organisation currently do? The three corporate citizenship activities in which respondents organisations are mostly involved are: ʯ Activities which support the local community (72% of respondents). ʯ Making financial contributions to charities (68% of respondents). ʯ Encouraging employees to volunteer their time (66% of respondents). Has the economic downturn affected your organisation s activities in these corporate citizenship areas? The majority of respondents (66%) indicated that the economic downturn had not affected their organisation s corporate citizenship activity. Corporate citizenship was particularly unaffected in organisations based in Norway, the UK, Ireland and Poland. There was no single industry sector in which corporate citizenship was considerably more affected than others. However, 22% of respondents indicated that the economic downturn had impacted on corporate citizenship activity within their organisations. These respondents were evenly represented across most countries and industry sectors. Respondents who indicated a negative impact were asked to identify what this impact was. Many respondents suggested that activity which was not primary to the operation of the organisation was either dropped or diminished. The primary way in which corporate citizenship activity was diminished was by cutting the budget for CSR. For some respondents, this meant completely stopping all activity, while others increased efficiency around CSR activities and focused on activities which did not involve financial support. A lack of motivation amongst individual staff to concentrate on nonwork related activities was frequently identified by respondents as another effect of the economic downturn. Multi-code 6 7

7 Why do organisations choose to encourage involvement in corporate citizenship activities? What are the issues your organisation s support is intended to impact? 1 Multi-code Multi-code The top three issues on which respondent s organisations intend to have an impact through corporate citizenship activities are education (with 76% of respondents mentioning this), local community (56%) and youth development (50%). Respondents were presented with a list of 10 possible reasons why organisations may choose to encourage involvement in corporate citizenship activities and asked to rank up to five of these as being most influential. Overall, the most popular reason why organisations choose to encourage involvement in corporate citizenship activities is to have a positive social impact as an organisation (87%). Matching the company s core values was identified as another core reason for encouraging involvement (by 75% of respondents). 1 We asked respondents to identify the top three issues their organisation s support is intended to impact. These responses were combined to calculate the top three overall issues. 8 9

8 How important are the following to you when thinking about encouraging employees to volunteer for enterprise education programmes? 5 Involvement in volunteering This section considers the extent to which business leaders are involved in volunteering. We explore barriers and motivations to involvement and the extent to which volunteering is formalised within organisations. Roughly what proportion of your employees would you say are involved in the volunteering programmes that your organisation encourages? Base: 342 Base: Approximately three quarters of respondents (72%) felt that impact on students is very important when planning enterprise education programmes, indicating this was the factor considered most important. Travel required was the least important of all the factors listed in this respect, with 46% of respondents stating it is either not very important or not at all important. The majority of organisations (57%) stated that the proportion of employees involved in volunteering is 25% or less

9 In general, how frequent are the main types of volunteering that your company encourages employees to commit time to? How much of their scheduled work time does your volunteering policy allow volunteers to offer each calendar year? Half of respondents organisations allocate up to 3 working days for volunteering. However, almost a quarter (24%) said they did not know. Base: 342 How does your organisation keep track of volunteering hours? Base: 342 Multicode The most commonly identified frequency of volunteering was continuous, selected by 44% of respondents. The more frequent responses were selected by the lowest proportions of respondents. Just 4% said that employees commit time to volunteering once a week. Base: 320 Multi-code 12 13

10 26% of survey respondents indicated that their organisations don t track volunteering hours. These respondents were most likely to represent smaller organisations. Among those who do track this, the most common methods involve the use of databases / online / electronic systems (18%) and / or timesheet / activity reports (16%). What recognition, if any, does your organisation give to employees who volunteer? Do you think that volunteering should be one of the metrics your employees are evaluated on? Opinions were mixed about whether volunteering should be a metric upon which employees are evaluated. Are you, personally, volunteering in any community activity? Base: 342 The majority of respondents (86%) said they personally volunteer in community activities. The primary means of recognition given to employees who volunteer were identified as personal feedback (60%) and public or company-wide recognition (58%). In only a minority of cases is employee volunteering recognised through financial or other rewards (6%) or taken into account in bonus considerations (4%)

11 Who is it that drives your organisation s involvement in social issues? What is the main reason you choose to volunteer? The main reason respondents gave for choosing to volunteer was to give back to the community (57% of respondents). Base: 446 What is the main reason why you choose not to volunteer? Approximately half of respondents stated that they personally drive their organisation s involvement in social issues. This is likely to reflect the senior positions of the individuals who participated in the survey. Further analysis revealed that respondents from small organisations (1-49 employees) were particularly likely to drive involvement personally (74%). There was a mixed range of people driving this involvement within the remainder of respondents. Respondents from very large organisations (1000+) were most likely to have a CSR officer or office (44%) driving involvement. Among those who said they do not volunteer, the main reason given for not doing so is time commitment (mentioned by 79% of respondents). Main reason for choosing not to volunteer Base:

12 6 Impact of volunteering This section describes the perceptions of the impact of volunteering on wider society and on businesses and their employees. Volunteering was perceived by respondents to develop a wide range of characteristics amongst their colleagues. Respondents perceived volunteering to have a particularly strong impact on the enthusiasm of their colleagues (identified by 73% of respondents). To what extent do you believe that volunteering has value for the following: 3 Which words first come to mind when you think about the impact of volunteering? 2 Which of the following, if any, do you see your colleagues developing through volunteering? Base: 342; 517 Base: 342 Multi-code Volunteering was felt to have high value for ʯ The development of skills in future generations ʯ Society in general ʯ Respondent s organisations ʯ Respondent s employees For 28% of respondents volunteering had the highest value for the development of skills in future generations. Overall, volunteering was deemed to be of marginally greater value to development of skills in future generations and to society in general than to organisations or employees. 2 We asked respondents to identify the top three words they associate with the impact of volunteering. We combined the responses to make this visual representation. The size of the words represents number of mentions. 3 Respondents were asked to give a score rating between zero and ten, where ten is very valuable and zero is not at all valuable

13 7 The role of business in educating young people What skills, if any, do you think young people are missing? This section considers the extent to which European countries are perceived to be developing the necessary skills in young people to effectively prepare them for employment and the role of businesses in this development. To what extent do you believe that your country s education system is equipping young people with the right skills for them to enter the workforce? Responses were mixed regarding the extent to which countries education systems were felt to be successfully equipping young people with the necessary skills to enter the workforce. While 30% of respondents indicated that their country was equipping young people quite well, 30% indicated that this was being done quite poorly. Respondents from Greece, Slovakia, Poland and Portugal demonstrated the highest levels of dissatisfaction with their country s education system in equipping young people with the necessary skills to enter the workforce, while respondents from Ireland, Denmark and Norway were generally more satisfied. 4 63% of respondents did not feel that this was being done well to any extent. 4 In order to ensure data is represented robustly, we report on countries with a base of at least 20 respondents. This is the case for all further references to specific countries. Base: 305 Multi-code; coded by FreshMinds from open responses 54% of respondents felt that young people were lacking in soft skills (such as confidence, presentation skills, networking, motivation, drive and teamwork). Entrepreneurship skills and acumen was felt to be lacking among young people by 24% of respondents

14 How successful would you say your country s education system is at developing entrepreneurial skills amongst young people? How successful would you say your country s education system is at developing financial skills amongst young people? The majority of respondents (56%) felt that their country s development of entrepreneurial skills in young people was not very successful. Analysis by country showed that respondents from Greece represented the highest proportion (60%) of the sample who responded not at all successful. A large proportion of respondents from Slovakia (83%) responded not very successful. Approximately half of the respondents from Norway and Ireland indicated that their country s education system was quite successful at developing entrepreneurial skills among young people. As was true for the development of entrepreneurial skills, the majority of respondents (56%) felt that their country s development of financial skills in young people was not very successful. Again, respondents from Greece represented the highest proportion of the sample who responded not at all successful

15 Thinking about the role of business in society, how important do you think it is that people from the world of business get involved with young people s education? 8 Perceptions of JA-YE This section considers perceptions of JA-YE and its impact on developing young people. How much would you say you know about the activities of JA-YE? The involvement of people in the world of business in young people s education was felt by the majority of respondents (87%) to be very important. Is your organisation involved in activities which engage with young people to increase their exposure to business or enterprise? A clear majority (88%) indicated that their organisations engage with young people to increase their exposure to business of enterprise. The majority of respondents (68%) knew a fair amount or a lot about JA-YE

16 Which, if any, of the following kinds of involvement with JA-YE and its activities have you had? Which, if any, of the following kinds of involvement with JA-YE and its activities have your colleagues had? Multi-code Multi-code Approximately half of respondents had been involved with JA-YE by being a classroom visitor / presenter and / or a judge at events. Approximately half of respondents indicated that their colleagues had been involved with JA-YE through being a classroom visitor / presenter

17 How likely or unlikely would you be to recommend involvement in JA-YE to other individuals? What skills, if any, do you think JA-YE s activities help to develop in students? The majority of respondents (77%) were either quite likely or very likely to recommend involvement with JA-YE to other individuals. From what you know of JA-YE s activities, to what extent, if at all, do you believe JA-YE helps to better equip young people for the future? 42% and 39% of respondents felt that JA-YE makes a great difference and a reasonable difference, respectively Multi-code JA-YE was felt by respondents to primarily develop students soft skills (such as confidence, presentation skills, networking, motivation, drive and teamwork) (50%) and entrepreneurship skills and acumen (40%). This corresponds with the national skills gaps in young people identified by respondents, which suggests that JA-YE is seen to be effectively tackling these gaps.

18 What one thing could JA-YE do to further encourage businesses to provide volunteers and / or financial support to society? To encourage businesses to provide volunteers and financial support to organisations aimed at developing young people, respondents primarily suggested that JA-YE should increase awareness of its programmes within the communities. Partnership-building with schools, educational institutions and government was frequently mentioned as a means of embedding engagement with corporate citizenship activities and opportunities for young people within the business community. Sharing examples of best-practice was felt to be an effective means of encouraging businesses to be inspired to be involved with JA-YE and develop successful corporate citizenship programmes. Increasing focus on the long-term impact of JA-YE programmes on young people was identified as a particular area upon which focus could be increased. 9 Respondent profile Through involvement in JA-YE they start to better understand the business world. They learn to make decisions... when market forces change the direction of ideas and business, they learn to position themselves better and try to preempt changing market conditions to their advantage. They become better team players and better understand the meaning of commitment and responsibility. I think JA broadens students perspective and gives them a hint [of ] the real world. The step from academic to industry is a big one and based on my personal and professional experience I don t feel schools are adequately preparing students. Thanks to JA, students are highly motivated to work on themselves, they are getting a clue of new dimensions and high visions, which is so important! 30 31

19 In which country do you mainly work? In which country was your organisation originally founded? How many full-time (or equivalent) employees does your organisation currently have in total? Country Number of respondents % Denmark 46 9% Norway 37 7% Belgium 35 7% Slovakia 29 6% Ireland 27 5% Romania 27 5% UK 32 6% Greece 25 5% Poland 23 4% Portugal 20 4% Luxembourg 19 4% Spain 18 3% Malta 16 3% Hungary 14 3% Serbia 14 3% Switzerland 14 3% Sweden 13 3% Israel 11 2% Italy 10 2% Germany 6 1% Lithuania 6 1% Netherlands 6 1% Estonia 5 1% Finland 5 1% Czech Republic 4 1% France 4 1% Bulgaria 3 1% Other 29 6% Grand Total % 5 4% Does your organisation operate on an international or national basis? Country Number % USA % Europe % Other 2% Grand Total 100% 6 5 Percentages rounding to less than 1% included in Other. 6 Percentages rounding to less than 1% included in Other. Number of employees The countries with the highest proportion are Denmark (9%), Norway (7%) and Belgium (7%). There was a mixed spread of organisation sizes, with 35% of organisations employing more than 1000 employees

20 In which industry sector does your organisation primarily operate? There was a mixed spread of organisation sizes, with 35% of organisations employing more than 1000 employees. 34

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