Students taught employability skills with help from BP Rolls

Date: 8th March 2019

Students from John Hanson School in Andover took part in the Launch Pad challenge today, an engaging event which encourages enterprising attitudes and an introduction to employability skills.

Working alongside inspiring Business Volunteers from Andover and the surrounding area, students spent the morning doing an Employability Masterclasss during which they were supported through a number of activities designed to help them discover more about themselves and develop the eight key skills which are valued in the workplace. Teamwork, Problem Solving, Financial Capability, Communication, Initiative, Confidence, Resilience and Organisation.

Our Marketing Manager, Louise Ellison, a former pupil of the school, volunteered for the event hosted by the careers and skills charity Young Enterprise. The business volunteers gave presentations on the theme “Real Life, Real People” to share their experiences in the working world. Louise talked about her own education through college and university, and the ups and downs of her career; the main message being that things don’t always go to plan, but if you have resilience and
perseverance then you will get to where you want to be.

Through a series of hands-on, fun activities students worked in teams on the early stages of launching a fledgling business, balancing a budget and financial projections in order to secure a business loan, before working on their products and services, pricing and launch to market. Students learned about their personal strengths and preferences and what this means for both working in a team and for their own development.

Louise worked with the year 10 students encouraging them to consider all angles of their business plans, particularly around the Marketing and Events strategies, sharing her knowledge around social media, content marketing and promotions to encourage customer loyalty. During the final challenge of the day, the students had to take on specific roles within their teams and tackle various tasks in order for them to write a sales pitch and ultimately a presentation to the group. The day culminated with the presentation of the Launch Pad business awards, where the panel of business experts deliberated on the content of the pitches given and chose winners in five categories including Best Team Work, Innovation, Marketing and Best new Business Idea.

“There was a real buzz in the room from everyone taking part. For me the best bit was seeing their confidence grow throughout the day; some of the students started out thinking they didn’t have anything to contribute, but through engagement with the business mentors and working in their teams, it was great to see them realise that they actually had some really valuable business skills.

As myself and the other business mentors explained in our presentations today, not all career paths follow a straight line so it’s important to have transfereable skills and Young Enterprise is doing a great job making sure the next generation have the eight key competencies that employers are looking for.”

Louise Ellison, Marketing Manager, BP Rolls Group

    Encounters with Employers and Employees
    Young Enterprise has access to over 7000 Business Volunteers from employers of all sizes, and from all sectors. Connecting and interacting with local employers and employees is a core part of Launch Pad. Our volunteers help young people to build their broader understanding of the workplace and employment and provide the opportunity for students to learn about what skills are required to make successful transitions to the next stage of their life.

    Contributing Evidence against the Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Career Guidance
    LaunchPad supports schools to evidence provision of Good Career Guidance against the Gatsby Benchmarks. Young Enterprise programmes encourage the development of an enterprising mindset and approach which is needed in education and employment in order that all young people reach their potential.

    Learning Outcomes from Employability Masterclass

    • Understand the skills necessary to make successful transitions to the next stage of life and employer expectations
    • Use enterprising skills to solve a business challenge
    • Know how to showcase skills to employers
    • Gain a broader understanding of the world of work through encounters with employers and employees
    • Develop understanding of creating budgets – financial mathematics in a real life real-life
    • Understand how to use information to plan and present persuasively to audiences
    • Gain self-awareness to recognise personal strengths and preferences and what this means for personal development
    • Experience the benefits of working as a team by recognising and using skills of other team members

    If your business would like to get involved with Young Enterprise initiatives, you can find out more

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