The annual Harrison Prize that encourages young people to develop their entrepreneurial talents has been launched at the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility in Sunderland.
Now in its fifth year, the Harrison Prize is part of the studies delivered at the Harrison Centre to learners aged 16 – 19 years old who have fallen out of mainstream education.
The six-week challenge sees learners work in teams to produce a technology solution to an every-day problem faced by the public. This year’s challenge will involve groups of students working in teams to produce an idea for an app that would encourage and help people to build up their personal savings. Against a broader backdrop of rising cost of living and squeezed personal finances, it’s never been more important for people to build up their own financial resilience or rainy day fund.
Harrison Prize participants will receive expert tips and advice from North East based financial advice and technology business, True Potential. All participants will receive the opportunity to gain work experience at True Potential’s Newcastle headquarters and members of the winning team will each receive a new iPad.
The Harrison Prize was the idea of entrepreneur David Harrison, who also founded the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility in 2017. Since then, hundreds of teenagers across Wearside and County Durham have improved their skills and employability prospects after studying at the Harrison Centre.
Since it was opened, 76% of Harrison Centre leaners have progressed on to employment, further education or training and 97% have increased their digital skills.
Founder David Harrison said: “It’s great to launch this year’s Harrison Prize, which is designed to get learners at the Harrison Centre working in teams, thinking about business and channelling their entrepreneurial creativity. Seeing their ideas is always a highlight for me and previous groups have always developed new and intriguing ideas so Iâ€™m looking forward to seeing what this year’s groups come up with.”
Chief Executive of True Potential, Daniel Harrison, added: “I’m delighted once again that True Potential is partnering with the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility on this year’s Harrison Prize. There are a growing number of tech jobs available in the North East, not least here at True Potential in our coding and app development divisions. It can be quite difficult to find the right skills and one of the best aspects of the Harrison Prize is that it gives those leaners who have a natural interest in technology the opportunity to apply it. I look forward to welcoming them to True Potential as part of this year’s Harrison Prize.”