Digital Skills Gap

Martha Lane Fox brings up an interesting point about Britain’s Digital Skills Gap.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-34570344

I work in schools and have recently met some Romanian Sixth Formers only in the country for three months. What an eye-opener. Their IT skills are way ahead of ours. They can already progamme in C++ .

We have got a bit of catching up to do.

Aldridge School Skills Development Challenge

What a great day with Aldridge School Year 10 pupils today. They did a range of skills development activities which included writing a CV, a Letter of Application and inventing and presenting a new business.

There was a lot of facing fears as well as creativity and presenting skills on show.

Business supporters attending the event as facilitators and judges were: Jacqui Pountney MBE, Richard Scott and Sue Bedward of Space2focus. They interacted with the pupils, helped develop their ideas and had the tough job of choosing the eventual winners.

Rachael and Jo from InComm Training came in to give talk on Apprenticeships and how to apply as well as discussing employability skills.

I’ll be using the experience of working with Year 10 when I start their Careers interviews in a couple of weeks’ time.

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Richard Scott, Jacqui Pountney MBE and Sue bedward of Space2focus on the judging panel

Richard Scott, Jacqui Pountney MBE and Sue Bedward of Space2focus on the judging panel

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Abu Bakr Girl’s School Maths Challenge

A fantastic day at Abu Bakr Girl’s School in Walsall. We ran a Maths Challenge aimed at letting the pupils understand the importance of Maths in terms of school grades and future careers. One challenge involved them making a range of Maths shapes in 3d and then jazzing them up with a themes to present to the judging panel.

With only one hour to complete the activity from scratch, the girls used their teamwork and creativity skills to produce a range of brilliant ideas as shown below.

The Business Supporters and I enjoyed every minute of working with a group of talented and intelligent young people.

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Cheslyn Hay High School Year 9s regenerate the area

I had an excellent day with Cheslyn Hay High School Year 9s. The school is very big on giving pupils the opportunity to develop their business and social skills.

The pupils did an Intelligence Quiz and a mini-challenge to create an art installation to demonstrate the future of Cheslyn Hay. We then gave them a budget of £100k to develop any part of town into a Social Enterprise Business.

All pupils came up with great ideas and then presented them to a judging panel made up of local business representatives:  Peter Cadman, Julie Lee and Tracey Wellings.There was a lot of ‘facing your fears’ as the pupils stood out front with a microphone in their hands and we ended up with fourteen superb presentations.

Young people developing the skills they’ll need for future success.

I’ll be back to see them again next year in Year 10!

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Literacy Day for Year 7 and 8 – One hundred twelve year-olds reading the Times and Mail!

I ran a two-day Literacy Event at The Mirus Academy in Walsall last week. Each day I had groups of Year 7 and 8 pupils developing their reading and writing abilities in a fun, competitive environment.

As usual, I had fantastic support from the local business community.

Day 1: David Tomalin – Age UK    Jacqui Pountney MBE – WES   Helen Gelsthorpe-Smith – Henn and Westwood

Day 2: David Tomalin- Age UK   Louise Taylor and Nicola Delahey- Juniper Training  Craig Vincent- Local Entrepreneur

My aim was to get the young people to read a quality newspaper and present a story they liked. I have to say they did a great job and chose some great stories, some of which I hadn’t seen.

A superb day with a group of lovely young people.

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STEM Design Skills in Action

Young people using engineering design skills

Young people using engineering design skills

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A great day at Blue Coat Academy with their Year 9 pupils today. We got them to use design skills to create their own ideas from K’nex kits. They only had half an hour and it was wonderful too see what they came up with.

Employers want more kids to have experience and knowledge of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths so I would suggest they get more involved in school-based projects to give first-hand information and advice to our young people.

There was so much talent on show today that it was inspiring and gave me great hope for the future.

Police give Careers Advice

Bernie at Leamore primary School supporting Lorenzo Cosco from Education Business Services Ltd

Bernie at Leamore Primary School supporting Lorenzo Cosco from Education Business Services Ltd

I love delivering my Get Real programme. The latest is at Leamore Primary School in Walsall.

Day One: Dream Jobs – Business and Social Skills – CV Writing

Day Two: Jobs in School – Apprentice Challenge – Employer Feedback

Day Three: Interview Skills – ICT Challenge

Pictured is PCSO Bernie Craze of West Midlands Police delivering a talk on her career. Year 6 loved it and gained in insight into law enforcement and possible consequences for getting into trouble.

A lot packed into a short time but very rewarding.

Meet Melody Hossaini at Cheslyn Hay High School – 24th April 2013

Melody Hossaini, contestant on BBC TVs The Apprentice, will be appearing at our Year 10 Business Challenge at Cheslyn Hay High School on Wednesday 24th April 2013.

We are delivering a Social Enterprise Challenge and Melody will be there to explain what SE is and judge pupil presentations to help choose the winning team.

Volunteers from the local business community are more than welcome to attend. Go here to register!