Kitbox is on mission is to empower young people to gain the skills, experiences and entrepreneurial attitude they need to get ahead and thrive.
We set up and run online and in school shops selling uniform, sports kit and other school essentials and support students to participate in the business. Income from product sales funds a professionally delivered enterprise education programme for students, with opportunities for work experience and employer engagement. It is a unique business model that benefits the whole school community.
Students experience all aspects of a ‘real’ business from day one of the programme making decisions and taking responsibility for the performance of their enterprise. Students also participate in visits and challenges that enhance their professional ability, raise aspirations and de-mystifying the workplace environment prior to interviews and post school employment.
Young People Targeted
The Kitbox programme is currently directed at 16-18 year olds as an extracurricular activity. 16-18 provision is an area of increasing pressure on school budgets and these self-funded programmes are welcomed by school leadership teams. Our goal is to extend the programmes to younger students and to embed them within the curricula.
The Overlooked and Left Behind
Schools focus considerable attention on young people who plan to go to university; Government devotes significant resources to a small minority of young people at risk of dropping out of education, employment or training, the so called ‘NEETS’; and Employers offer a wealth of graduate employment schemes.
Many young people, therefore, falling into none of these categories, drift into jobs that have no real prospect of progression. Despite making up the majority of the emerging workforce, they receive much less attention from schools, governments and employers.
Kitbox recognises this ‘overlooked and left behind’ group of young people, our programmes support and help them transition into suitable employment with long term prospects.
Skills to Succeed
There is evidence that employers prefer people who are able to demonstrate ‘skills to succeed’ over academic qualifications alone. It is also clear that employers expect young people to be work ready although there is no clear consensus as to what ‘work ready’ means or what ‘life skills’ are.
Kitbox has researched a variety of definitions and methodologies and developed programmes specifically designed for young people to acquire ‘life skills’ through a combination of real business experience, valuable employer opportunities and demonstrable work related skills.
How Kitbox started
As the founder of successful licensed merchandise, branding and production businesses, Danny Oakes was approached by his old school about supplying uniform. Reflecting on his own experiences and the challenges he faced starting out and finding young people with basic business skills, Danny realised that the school contract was an opportunity for change. He proposed to take on the supply of uniform for the school, but on the basis that students helped to run the business, gaining the kind of experience he wished he’d had at school. The school jumped at the opportunity and the idea for Kitbox was born.