An initiative that allows parents to bring their children into the workplace could help fill the talent gap in UK workforce in the future, it has been claimed.
Employee engagement firm Employees Matter has been running the ‘Bring Your Child to Work Day’ scheme since 2013 after hearing about a similar programme in America.
Under the initiative, companies invite their employees’ children to spend the day at their workplace.
The scheme aims to bridge the gap between the academic offerings of the school curriculum and real-life workplace experiences.
While the parents carry on with their daily routine, there children are elsewhere in the building, taking part in workshops and events related to the industry their parents work in.
The events can range from setting up a law firm, bank, stock market forming a newspaper company.
Zoe Sinclair, founder of Employees Matter, said the initiative which is always oversubscribed, has grown mainly through word of mouth.
Ms Sinclair said: “It really opens the children's eyes to the workplace. We don’t want the day to just be kids sitting and watching parents work because that is just boring.
“These parent go to work every day but the children never have an idea of what their parents do and this gives them a little bit of an idea."
Northern Trust, VISA, BNP Paribas, Bank of Tokyo and Mitsubishi are among the companies where the initiative has been rolled out in.
In one recently held event, the children were shown the relationship between Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and businesses.
Keith Churchouse, a principal at Chapters Financial said such initiatives were good for grooming the next generation of young people who would be entering the workforce in the future.
It can also help to fill the talent gap in many professions, because the children who may not have been attracted to a particular sector because they did not know much about it, would now be more willing to consider it.
Additionally, companies participating in such programmes would have a better understanding at an early stage about the next generation of talent that could be coming into the workplace.
Mr Churchouse said: “The world is evolving in the work place very quickly. It is important that those going through the education process see what it means at the other end. It is an initiative that can engage the younger generation.”
The initiatives can also help children to develop their financial literacy, Churchouse adds.
“Schools have been trying to teach financial education. It is important that employers link what is going on at schools to the workplace.”
Sinclair says her team have been able to measure how successful the scheme has been by getting the children to fill out evaluation forms on their own.
As a result of rolling out the scheme, Sinclair says it has also helped to drive forward companies’ inclusive agendas.
This is because the scheme is open to all colleagues, across the organisational structure of companies and includes those who have children and those who do not.