Clive Barker – My Corporate Social Responsibility Story – The How and the Why
By TA Barker Associates *
Clive is a well-known and active supportive of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), particularly within an education context. His CSR commitment started long before many businesses were even engaging in activity with schools, colleges, and education establishments.
Starting as an office assistant in London at the age of 19, following a series of promotions led him to the position of Works Manager of the Manchester operations at 26. Eventually becoming the Managing Director with a turnover increased from £1m to £12m. Following a management buyout, he started CSB Logistics in the 1980’s. This was before Construction Logistics was a recognised service sector, CSB quickly built a solid reputation as a leading logistics partner for construction and engineering industries. After 30 years CSB is now providing logistics control directly to property developers and main contractors, while continuing to develop integrated support through all levels of construction supply chains.
CSB is a family run business, and one of Clive’s Corporate Social Responsibility mantras is that ‘You need to be stable and secure, before you can help anyone else’. He explained. My family now run the business and that enables me time and space to get involved with local community projects and CSR activities’.
The How – Clive’s experience and passion for the business community has been demonstrated over the last 30 years by many Chair roles of leading business community organisations such as Business Link, British and Irish Trading Alliance (BITA), The Agency for Greater London Bank of England, four Borough Business Education partnerships and has twice been President of the South East London Chamber of Commerce. He has helped the London Anti-Crime Education Scheme (LACES) established by ex-offender, Charles Young which works to prevent young people entering a life of crime.
Clive’s interaction with the world of education goes back a long way starting with Young Enterprise and with his wealth of experience he took a temporary secondment between 2004-2007 as an Enterprise Advisor helping schools meet the new Government requirement for Work-Related Learning and Enterprise in schools. Then, almost 9 years ago Clive was introduced to the Lord Baker initiative; the creation of University Technical Colleges (UTCs) nationally, specialising in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) education.
Having struggled for some years to get businesses to genuinely engage with education, he saw this as an ideal opportunity to make a real difference by helping to create the skills that industry desperately needs and thereby attract greater commitment from the business sector. In order to concentrate his energy on this initiative he dropped all his other board commitments to give the UTC movement his total support. He joined The Leigh UTC (Dartford) at its pre-build planning stage and subsequently became Chair of Governors and has now by request joined the Baker Dearing Trustee Board. He visits The Leigh UTC at least once a week, regularly meeting with the Principal and teachers, mentoring young people, giving students presentations on Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He runs Business Breakfasts to help increase industry engagement and now runs many different Annual Awards Dinners, so far raising in excess of £100k for the college, and is still continuing to raise more.
Clive was instrumental in establishing an Engineering Apprenticeship program, now in it’s 5th year, utilising The Leigh UTC’s excellent workshop facility and providing a career path for their students and other local young people. Having recently handed on Governor responsibility for the Special Educational Needs & Disabilities student support to another Governor, he has taken up the role of ensuring the delivery of Middle Years Programme (MYP) in the lower school (International Baccalaureate – MYP) this programme focuses on creating internationally minded young people who are inquiring, knowledgeable and caring, with a range of transferable skills for life.
The Why – Clive believes passionately in the benefits of bringing both business and education closer together in a genuine partnership. Education can help business keep informed of the latest Government developments in the curriculum and it’s assessment, additionally business can provide an understanding of current career opportunities and enhance the lesson content through projects and presentations to students. Importantly business can gain access to a valuable talent pipeline through close engagement with the students and the school on a regular basis.
One of the biggest challenges for schools is to find quality Governors, especially from the world of business. This is where family businesses in particular could help. Especially, if like Clive, a senior Director is looking to retire but still wants to keep mentally active. The wealth of knowledge and experience should not go to waste and the enjoyment of working with young people is very rewarding.
* This article was first seen on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/clive-barker-491a341b/