About

Working Options in Education is a careers education programme in England and Wales for 16-19 year olds, developed by charity MKB Foundation. Our aim is to engage, inspire and motivate sixth form students to realise their full potential and consider employment opportunities in the food, drink and retail industry. We do this by running free motivation and information sessions at state sixth form colleges led by volunteer speakers from industry and through an online careers information hub.

>> Check out some key facts about Working Options in Education and the impact our programme  makes on the lives of young people.

>> Find out how our programmes are helping sixth form colleges to deliver the Gatsby Benchmarks in their careers education.

 Vision

A society where young people aim high and realise their full potential.

Mission

Working Options in Education’s mission is to engage, inspire and motivate young people to realise their full potential after sixth form, with a specific focus on careers in the food, drink and retail industry.

Our story

The Working Options in Education programme was launched in 2012 by Paul Monk following a visit with his niece Lauren to their old sixth form college in Luton. Both were working in the food, drink and retail industry and wanted to inspire students from their home town to think about their future careers.

Paul has worked in the grocery industry for over 40 years:

“I remember so vividly being 18, growing up in Luton with no idea of what was possible to achieve. I launched the Working Options programme to inspire sixth formers by giving them an insight into what might be available to them. To date we’ve reached over 5000 young people, and continue to provide our services free to sixth form colleges. We get great feedback from students and we’re proud that 100% of our colleges ask us back.”

Working Options is part of Monkey Business Foundation, a registered charity set up by Paul with dual aims, to raise funds for Grocery Aid, the grocery industry’s charity and to help state educated sixth form college students to realise their full potential.

Our team

Paul Monk

Paul Monk

Director

Paul has extensive experience at Board Level in a variety of grocery industry companies. He is really passionate about what the Working Options programme can offer young people who aren't sure what their next steps might be. Paul is well networked within the grocery industry and heads up our fund-raising activities.

Lauren Monk

Lauren Monk

National Development Manager

Lauren has a passion for education and inspiring young people to reach their full potential. After graduating with a law degree, Lauren spent some time working with the Walt Disney Company and BBC legal teams before joining Mars in a sales role. She is excited to expand the charity's reach to more sixth form colleges.

Debbie Armorgie

Debbie Armorgie

Operations Manager

After a career in radio sponsorship, Debbie has spent 10 years as a Researcher for a Consumer Goods Executive Search Consultancy. Her network and experience in CV writing, job seeking and recruitment advice has been of great help in developing the WorKing Options programme.

Julie Sneddon

Julie Sneddon

Adviser

Julie spent 20 years in senior executive roles with The Walt Disney Company. She has extensive experience in delivering results and managing complex businesses in fast paced and evolving markets across the UK, Europe and North America. Her breadth of knowledge spans the Retail, Consumer Goods, Media and Entertainment industries. Julie left school at 16 and is passionate about helping students succeed in their further education and career goals by sharing her personal journey, and giving ideas on how to succeed in today's workplace.

Governance

The Monkey Business Foundation is a registered charity with a Chair and board of trustees that manage the strategic direction of the charity. Working Options in Education is the charity’s flagship careers education programme for state educated sixth form college students. Meet our trustees.