Former Trade and Industry Secretary Lord Young has told Ort supporters of the impact on government thinking of the charity’s global educational and training network.
Addressing a dinner at London’s Lincoln’s Inn which raised £350,000, the Tory peer recalled taking politicians to an Ort school in Paris “to show what could be done for young people”. Ort principles had also influenced his Manpower Services Commission report — addressing unemployment and training — under then Employment Secretary Norman Tebbit.
On current issues, Lord Young, a former Ort chairman, praised its Jump scheme, which partners ambitious Jewish sixth-formers with people in their chosen profession, from law to medicine and accountancy to journalism.
It was “critically important”, he said. “When you’re at school, you don’t know what goes on at work. It’s a mystery.
“We live in a world where more and more young people work for themselves. They need a skill set that the education system doesn’t provide. That’s what Jump does.”
The 600-plus guests heard from Hasmonean sixth-former Rachaeli Rabinowitz, who has wanted to be a lawyer since she was 10. She explained how the Jump programme had boosted her career prospects by providing a practical insight into the industry.
British Ort chair Simon Alberga said its mission remained to “help provide Jewish people with the skills and education they need to gain employment”.
Veteran BBC political broadcaster and “friend of Israel” John Sergeant was guest speaker. He recalled covering the Margaret Thatcher era, gave well-rehearsed impressions of John Major and discussed the trials and tribulations of his stint on Strictly Come Dancing, where he became a viewers’ favourite.