Peter Vardy foundation launches GenZ leadership programme for youngsters

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The Peter Vardy Foundation has launched its hotly-anticipated educational GenZ Leaders programme aimed at equipping every young person in Scotland with world-class leadership skills and decision-making capabilities.

At an event in Perth, an audience of some 70 people, including education specialists and teachers, were addressed by Gavin Hastings, the former Scottish rugby international whose leadership on and off the pitch inspired generations of followers.

Four secondary schools across Scotland – Barrhead High in East Renfrewshire, Lourdes Secondary in Glasgow, Morgan Academy in Dundee and The Glasgow Academy – will now take part in a test and learn pilot of the ambitious scheme starting this month (September 2021).

L-R: Samantha Bedford, Chief Operating Officer; Victoria Vardy, Chief Education Officer; Peter Vardy, Founder & Chair; Becca Dobson, Director of Education; and Elizabeth-Anne Collier, Programme Manager

It is then planned to roll the GenZ Leaders programme of leadership knowledge and skills acquisition out across the country, with a potential reach of 360 schools and 290,000 young people, before expanding further into the UK and internationally.

GenZ Leaders is a brand-new registered Scottish charity. The leadership and meta-skills programme is the latest and most wide ranging initiative from the Foundation, which is the vehicle used by the Peter Vardy automotive group to distribute 10% of its profits to good causes. It donated more than £500,000 last year to support groups through the pandemic.

Peter Vardy, GenZ Leaders Chairman, said: “We are very proud to help bring Gen Z Leaders into our schools to equip young people with the skills necessary to deal with the complexities of a world that faces unprecedented challenges.

“This is the first step in creating a world-leading digital leadership programme which will work to complement existing provision and be delivered by teachers to help pupils get to the best post-school destinations.

“We hope that GenZ will inspire young people to see themselves as part of a wide community of young leaders who support each other and their local communities and engage with global issues.”

Becca Dobson, the Director of Education at the GenZ Leaders team, said: “We are very grateful to Gavin Hastings for his inspirational message and excited to see the programme get off the ground with the participation of such prestigious, pioneering school partners.”

“This initiative is for every young person and we want to give them the skills to follow their hearts and create their own future. We believe that anyone can be a leader and that early interventions are more positive and durable.”

The Peter Vardy Foundation has committed to funding the programme for its first three years and the lessons, which will feature acknowledged thought leaders, will be delivered by staff using a blended learning approach.