As an organisation, we have been supporting Enabling Enterprise to help young people understand the world of work. Enabling Enterprise work with schools across the country to teach essential skills to students of all abilities.
Founded by a group of teachers in 2009, the goal of Enabling Enterprise is to develop students’ essential skills, experience of work and aspirations, in order to help them succeed. Working with students aged three to 18, Enabling Enterprise believe that it is important to embed these valuable skills at an early age, so that students are fully prepared to go out in the work environment when they leave education.
Although grades are important, Enabling Enterprise has highlighted eight key skills and attitudes that are important for a student’s development: working in a team, leadership, creativity, problem solving, listening and understanding, presenting, aiming high and finally, staying positive.
These eight key skills are sharpened through ‘Challenge Days’, as classes of students build their skills through group work, this could be designing a new car, running political campaigns or learning how to setup a small business.
Lesson-based projects are also carried out to improve students ability to work in teams and discuss different ways to solve assigned challenges, helping to strengthen teamwork and develop good leadership. Training and support for teachers help embed good practice across the curriculum.
Last summer, a team of Bruntwood staff volunteered at our first workplace visit at The Old Hall in Liverpool’s Cotton Exchange. Volunteers from a range of departments including facilities management, marketing, property management and building and construction, were interviewed by students aged seven and eight about their roles.
“Students on our primary school programmes have had the opportunity to visit Bruntwood's amazing offices and work alongside professionals on engaging challenges as they continue to develop essential skills like teamwork, creativity and problem solving,” says Simon Hill, Head of Partnerships.
Through this process, the students were able to learn about the varying skills needed in the workplace, how to get into the roles and what can be seen as the best (and worst) parts of the roles. As well as this, the students were also taken on a workplace visit to see a functioning working environment.
“For many of the students this will have been the first time they've had encouragement and positive feedback from professionals and most have never visited a workplace like this before. So getting a valuable insight through this experience and at a young age is really powerful," says Simon.
Stretching students out of their comfort zone is key to unlocking their potential.Through assessing students and applying the eight key skills and attitudes, teachers can identify their strengths and weaknesses; pinpointing areas to improve. The results show that 96% of teachers saw progress in their students.
To find out more visit, https://www.skillsbuilder.org/ launched by Enabling Enterprise to share its approach and support organisations committed to building young people’s essential skills.