The Chamber is accredited by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) which collectively represents thousands of businesses of all sizes and sectors across the UK. Chambers of Commerce provide a voice to the business communities they represent and work to improve the local business environment in which they operate.
Doncaster Chamber was the first Chamber in the country to be granted Investment in Young People accreditation to recognise the work of its Doncaster Skills Academy and the support given to preparing young people for employment. Several other Chambers now offer some ‘bridging the gaps’ activity which aims to improve links in their own communities between schools and businesses, however the Doncaster Chamber was the first Chamber to develop and implement a full service offering for schools and has been praised by the BCC and used as a best practice example to others in the network.
The Doncaster Skills Academy team consists of qualified Business Advisors and colleagues with years of experience working with businesses in the local area. The team have worked with hundreds of local businesses in a variety of sectors and sizes, from entrepreneurs to national companies, to develop the Doncaster Skills Academy into what it is today.
The Doncaster Skills Academy team have also worked with external agencies to develop the delivery materials to ensure that they are appropriate, fit for purpose and suitable for each age group and ability.
All business volunteers that deliver the Academy’s work in schools are fully trained by professionals to ensure consistently high standards throughout all delivery sessions.
Owen Simpson, Balby Carr Academy student
Owen Simpson, a student at Balby Carr Academy, attended his school’s careers fair, organised by the Doncaster Skills Academy.
During the careers fair, Owen spoke to a number of employers and took part in a variety of industry activities.
Owen then got speaking to a member of the team at South Yorkshire Police, who let him try on their riot gear and spoke to him about a possible career as a police officer. Before this, Owen had not considered a future in the police force, but during that interaction something sparked an interest and curiosity in Owen to find out more.
Owen then went on to discuss his new found interest further with a careers practitioner from the Doncaster Skills Academy team and soon after this he applied to become a cadet. Owen received support from the Skills Academy team to prepare for his interview, which helped him gain confidence and skills.
Owen was successful in his interview and has become one of South Yorkshire’s new cadets, attending weekly training sessions and other events. Owen has also continued with his education and is now completing a Public Services/ Uniformed Services course at Doncaster College.
Speaking about his experience, Owen said: "The careers fair gave me an insight to what the police force was about and also what pathways and roles there are.
Working with the Doncaster Skills Academy team helped me so much in terms of connecting me with the Police and also helping me prepare for my interview.
Since starting at the cadets I have learnt so many new life skills and my confidence is growing all the time."