Employer Forum promotes Skills Development in schools

DSC_0003I ran my second Employer’s Forum at the Saddler’s Club in Walsall on Wednesday. Companies and organisations from across the Black Country came together to discuss the delivery of Skills Development activities in schools across the region.

John Price, former manager of Walsall Education Business Partnership, gave a keynote speech explaining the history of skills development programmes and we need them today more than ever.

They received a schedule of planned activities this school year and gave a commitment to offer their support.

Anyone wishing to join this growing group of inspiring business supporters please get in touch.

Year 8 Design Challenge at Aldridge School

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Teams then had two hours to devise the event, design a new steel band and choose a charity to support. We also got some finance into the brief by getting them to send ticket prices to generate funds.

All the teams came up with great ideas that they presented on stage to the judging panel of Rick Cosco (Steel Band Leader) Trevor Braidley (Birmingham Council Finance Manager) and Jacqui Pountney MBE (Walsall Equestrian Society).

Aldridge School managed to beat tough competition to win the trophy.

This Challenge will now become and annual event as it is a fantastic opportunity for pupils to develop their Teamwork, Communication, Creativity and Presentation Skills.

Royal Television Society Challenge Day with City TV

We had a brilliant day with Jayne Green and Des Tong at the RTS Challenge at Aldridge School. The pupils learned about careers in the Media industry, developed their transferable skills and created and presented a pitch for a TV programme.

Des Tong judges the pitches and chose the winners to go forward to the regional final. The winners there will have their programme idea actually made for broadcast on City TV.

City TV is being launched in September and will be found on Channel 8 of Freeview. Tune in!

Des is also bass player for Sad Cafe, a huge band from the Eighties who still perform to old and new fans. He also gave us a solo rendition of a Nile Rodgers bass line (from Chic). Google them if you’re too young to get the reference!

The pupils were superb and came up with a range of worthy ideas. I’m looking forward to the next one at St Francis of Assisi School on 30th April.

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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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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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Year 9 Modern Foreign Languages Day – Shire Oak Academy

It was great to have the opportunity to deliver a Modern Foreign Languages day to Year 9 pupils at Shire Oak Academy.

With my Business Supporters, Helen Gelsthorpe-Smith (Henn and Westwood), PSCO Bernie Craze (West Midlands Police), Glenys Price (Gap Language Services), Jacqui Pountney MBE (Walsall Equestrian Society) and Sam Samuels (HSBC Bank) I delivered a three hour session that gave information on the value of learning a language to future careers and asked the pupils to create and make presentations using as many languages as they could.

The pupils worked hard and producing amazing ideas. It was a great day and I hope many of the pupils choose a language as a GSCE option.

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EBS Ltd Gains Matrix Quality Standard

I’m pleased to announce that Education Business Ltd has gained the national Matrix Quality Award for providing Information, Advice and Guidance to young people in schools. We passed the rigorous assessment process and look forward to continuing our work in local schools

EBS Ltd - Matrix Quality Standard

EBS Ltd gains Matrix Accreditation for Careers Information, Advice and Guidance

Gifted and Talented pupils develop Business Skills

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Working with Gifted and Talented pupils is always a pleasure.  They are willing to learn, have skills and can take a joke (and dish it out in return!).

Today I was at Aldridge School in Walsall delivering a Business Challenge. It was in two parts. Firstly they did a mini-challenge which was judged at their table and then they had to get up on stage for the main presentation.

Ann Glaze from DWP and Brian Coldicutt from South Staffs water kindly gave up their day to work with the teams and judge their presentations.

It’s great to give business the opportunity to come and see the calibre of young people. Some of these are ready to go into the workplace and do a great job. They will ace their exams and go on to great futures. Hopefully the Skills Development I offer through these activities will help on the way.

It was an inspiring end to the week.

Careers Advice in Schools

A great article today on the BBC News Website about Careers in Schools. Check it out here.

I run a careers Advice programme at Aldridge School in Walsall. My way is to bring in a range of Industry specialists to talk to targeted groups of pupils.

It works very well and I’ve had some great feedback from an independent audit, which gauged young people’s responses and remarks.

Anyone delivering careers without involving the local business community should not be doing the job.