A genuine belief in the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility has to come from the heart and that is certainly the case for Liz Foster and her company’s involvement with the Prince’s Trust.
Liz, managing director of insurance brokers Ingram Hawkins & Nock, sits on the main committee of the Insurance Leadership Group (ILG) and the sub group addressing the difficulties of young people being able to acquire insurance, particularly those with a criminal past.
Liz said: "One of the main objectives of The Prince's Trust is to assist young people to create business opportunities. The difficulty in sourcing affordable insurance, if any, is a major issue and doesn't sit comfortably with my conviction that everyone should have an opportunity to maximise their potential."
Getting involved with the Prince’s Trust was a natural progression from being chair of the Parents’ Association at Bromsgrove School, attended by her son and chair of Governors at her former school, Kings Norton Girls where Liz advised school leavers on confidence tips and developing interview technique.
Liz also sits on the ILG policy committee which she describes as ‘the doing bit’ of the Prince’s Trust, and is behind the commissioning of a report on the impact of the restrictive availability and cost of insurance. This will be used to argue for changes in the insurance industry’s attitude towards young people. Another focus for the committee is a work placement scheme to attract more young people into careers in insurance.
Key to reaching this stage is to assess and bridge the skills gap that exists between the ‘will and the way’ a young person can gain a foothold in insurance. To this end the ILG is piloting a training and mentoring scheme which, alongside equipping people for the job, will remedy areas of disrupted education and aim to re-build self-esteem.
Liz added: "I was lucky to grow up with a family around me and that was so important in helping me to succeed. The Prince’s Trust sets out to provide a similar support and structure plus the idea of being part of something that is missing from some young people’s lives. I am behind it spiritually, financially and practically!"
Despite being only two years old the ILG has already raised #2.4m, has 13 patrons and 34 members. Once the group has successfully completed its pilot, it is hoped similar schemes will be rolled out to other professions.