Yesterday morning, we met with a number of local businesses at our careers breakfast as we discussed our intention to be a school that prepares all students for employment.
The event, which took place at Gloucester Service Station, was hosted by Mike Steward, our vice-principal, and Dr Nicholas Capstick OBE, CEO of The White Horse Federation. In attendance were many companies from the local area who were keen to support our project.
After being greeted by coffee and a bacon sandwich, attendees listened to David Owen, Chief Executive of GFirst LEP, discuss the importance of projects that ensure children leave school prepared for employment.
Following this introduction, Dr Capstick passionately outlined our project and the plans to change the whole focus of Gloucester Academy. Then, Mr Steward detailed the benefits of our curriculum changes — for both our students and the businesses involved — and how we want our partners to contribute.
These two speeches piqued the interest of those in attendance, but the next showed the true value of business involvement in schools, as a selection of our students spoke about their experience and how working with an employer benefited them.
To finish the event, we conducted a Q&A with attendees, during which we gained a real sense of optimism as businesses bought into our vision.
One business in attendance that expressed their commitment to our project was Clarkson Evans, a large electrical installation company based in Gloucester.
Lindsey Young, Chief Operating Officer of Clarkson Evans, said: “Businesses have an important role to play in helping to inspire young people to be the best they can be and to support the development of employability skills. We hope to work with Gloucester Academy to engage their students in thinking about the next steps they’ll take after leaving school and support them in being well equipped for the workplace.”
Although the careers breakfast marked the early stages of our interaction with businesses, it was a really encouraging start, and we are delighted with the initial interest shown by potential partners.
If you were unable to attend the careers breakfast but would like to know how you can help to support the next generation of workers, visit our project page on The White Horse Federation website.