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ISSUE 19 • SPRING 2011

Pupils at Leighswood School working with an employer as part of the ‘Me, My Future, My Job!’ pilot programme Walsall Education Business Partnership works to encourage improved links between education and business. Through a range of programmes Walsall EBP provides insights and understanding for industry and school staff, works to raise the motivation and achievement levels of students and helps to prepare them for life after school and for the world of work.

Tower building in progress at the Leon Jessel Technology Challenge

Pupils working with employer support

Working with Walsall Children’s Services – Serco and a small group of interested primary schools (Leighswood, Cooper Jordan, St Mary of the Angels & Whetstone Fields) Walsall EBP has recently developed and delivered a three session, pilot programme aimed at improving the employability skills of primary age youngsters. Working with a group of thirty year 6 pupils this activity helps to increase the pupils’ knowledge of the world of work through: ✦ identifying individual personal skills and attributes ✦ developing an awareness of jobs that they are interested in for the future ✦ taking part in a mini-enterprise challenge to develop/ test their communication and team working skills ✦ focussing on future aspirations and interview skills


Local employers supported each of the activities and in the final session were interviewed by the pupils so that they could learn more about employer expectations. The feedback from the pupils, schools and employers involved in the pilot was overwhelmingly positive and it is now intended to make ‘Me, My Future, My Job!’ available to many more groups of year 6 pupils across the borough.


MIDCOUNTIES CO-OPERATIVE SPONSORSHIP... Walsall EBP are extremely grateful to Midcounties Co-operative for their sponsorship of the 2011 Annual Employer Conference and this edition of Partnership News.

Walsall Primary Enterprise Challenge The second annual Walsall EBP Primary Enterprise Challenge competition took place in 2010 and gave the teams from the 39 schools taking part, the opportunity to develop some important skills including:

• • • • • • •

team working problem solving communication presentation self-management effective participation creative thinking

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Preparation and briefing about the Challenge subject

Following a series of heats across the borough an exciting final, held at Banks’s Stadium, was won by the team from New Invention Junior School (pictured below). We are often asked how our enterprise events work and we thought that it would be interesting to show, through photographs, the Walsall EBP Primary Enterprise 2010 Challenge final from start to finish.



The following photographs show the way that the pupils, with employer support, were taken through a series of stages from being told the Challenge right through to the announcement of the eventual winners.

Discussing the options with employer support

The winning team

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4 e Judges Convincing th

Working, with the help of employer supporters, on the Challenge

Heats are currently taking place to identify the teams who will be taking part in this year’s final at the Banks’s Stadium.


Year 8 Enterprise Challenge Walsall EBP are increasingly working with all age groups and recently, for the first time, organised an Enterprise Challenge open to teams of year 8 students from any of the Walsall secondary schools. The response was excellent and the actual Challenge involved the teams in:

A Walsall EBP business supporter working with year 8 students at the recent Enterprise Challenge

• • • •

developing their enterprise and creativity skills deciding on a charity to support designing a suitable fund-raising activity making a presentation about their ideas to a judging panel

The team from Willenhall School Sports College won the event.



Walsall EBP

To date 35 volunteers have been recruited as Walsall EBP Champions and their expertise, help and support have proved invaluable at many of the enterprise and employability activities and events organised for local schools by Walsall EBP. The sectors currently covered are:

• • • • • • • • • •

Business Construction Engineering Enterprise Environment Fair Trade Health & Social Care IT Modern Languages Retail

A group of the Walsall EBP Champions photographed at a recent follow-up training / networking session

When they are recruited each ‘Champion’ agrees to: • • •

undergo an Enhanced Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) background check support a minimum of five education business link activities each year attend a short induction training session and subsequent follow-up sessions organised by Walsall EBP

If you are interested in becoming a Walsall EBP Champion then please contact Lorenzo Cosco here at Walsall EBP

Walsall EBP Fairtrade Champion Louise Brown, from Midcounties Co-op working with primary pupils at a recent Fairtrade Enterprise Challenge event

‘Outstanding Example of Excellence’ It is pleasing to report that local company A. F Blakemore & Son Ltd (winners of the Walsall EBP 2010 Employer Award) were recognised as the ‘Outstanding Example of Excellence’ at the recent Walsall Civic Corporate Social Responsibility Awards. Staff from Blakemore’s support a wide range of Walsall EBP activities as a key part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility input to the Walsall community. (L to R) Paul Cowley, Corporate Affairs Manager, A.F. Blakemore, Stephen Cloves, Group HR Director, A.F. Blakemore pictured receiving the Award from the Mayor of Walsall Cllr Gary Clarke



Young Chef of the Year For a number of years Walsall EBP has supported the Rotary Club of Walsall with its annual Young Chef of the Year competition. The youngsters who enter are challenged to prepare a main course for two people, with a healthy options’ theme, within a stipulated budget. Heats are held in individual schools to select the students to go forward to the Walsall finals.

At this year’s final the judges faced a really difficult task in separating the finalists in the two age categories (Junior – 11 -14 years and Senior – 15 – 16 years) because each year the standard of culinary skills displayed just keeps getting better and better.

The eventual winners:

Working hard in the kitchens during the Young Chef final The Walsall Rotary Young Chef 2011 winners pictured with the Judges and Walsall EBP staff

Leon Jessel Memorial Technology Challenge Walsall EBP recently linked up again with the Walsall Chamber Trustees to organise a Technology Challenge, for teams of year 9 students, in memory of former Chamber member and local businessman Leon Jessel. The event was held at the Green Lane Campus of Walsall College and the year 9 students were given the thought provoking challenge of creating a tower, of a specific height, capable of supporting a 1kg weight. The Challenge was conducted and judged using ‘Lean Manufacturing’ principles with each building block having a unit cost. The winning team from St Francis of Assisi Catholic Technology College convinced the judges that they had the tower with:

• the best design • the strongest structure • the lowest cost (least number of building blocks used)

The team from St Francis of Assisi College pictured with David Brown, President, Black Country Chamber Walsall Division and their winning tower



Opportunities in Construction A group of 160 students (year 11/12) from Joseph Leckie Community Technology College recently took part in a seminar which was designed to raise their awareness of the career opportunities within the construction industry. Input was provided by representatives from:

• Walsall Housing Group • Skanska Walsall JV • CSkills The presentations focussed on:

• • • • •

trade and management roles women working in construction apprenticeships for young people work experience routes leading to higher qualifications

Tim Rymond, Manager, WHG Construction Skills Centre emphasised that “Young people need to know their way through all the application processes so that they can take advantage of the opportunities available in our industry” The opportunity was taken at the event, by Steve Davis, Environmental Manager, Skanska Walsall JV to congratulate a group of sixth form students, at the College, on their solution to a ‘design & make’ challenge.

This had resulted in an Environmental Trophy made out of re-cycled materials from the Skanska site. The trophy is now presented, by Skanska each month, to a contractor for environmental initiatives. Pictured with sixth form students (L to R) Steve Davis, Skanska Walsall JV, Tim Rymond, WHG Construction Skills Centre, Lorraine Gregory, CSkills and Nick Radburn, Joseph Leckie Community Technology College

Nick Radburn, Head of Design and Technology at Joseph Leckie mentioned the benefits of their partnership with Skanska and Walsall Education Business Partnership which had:

• facilitated student visits to the hospital site • enabled a group of 14 year olds to make bird boxes from recycled timber which have now been presented to the RSPB • led the Technology department to adopt the Skanska model of “Your workplace - own it!”



Practice Interviews Since 1994 the Walsall EBP team have arranged well over 16,000 practice interviews for year 11 Walsall students, with local employers, and these continue to form an important part of the ‘preparation for work’ activities. The youngsters involved in the programme:


are asked to complete a generic application form

X receive details of their interview

• •

are expected to arrive for the interview appropriately dressed and on time

Jgo through a 20 minute interview and receive verbal feedback about •


their performance on the day

•t receive a written feedback report back in school Feedback from both students and employers about the practice interview programme continues to be extremely positive. Walsall EBP are now also able to accredit the preparation and performance of young people in their practice interview through the Edexcel Workskills suite of qualifications. If you are interested in getting involved with practice interviews then please contact Pauline Millward here at Walsall EBP.

A local employer



delivering a practic

e interview for a ye

ar 11 Walsall stude nt

Holiday Bursary Placements Financial support from the Confederation of British Metalforming and the Royal Academy of Engineers meant that Walsall EBP were once again able to organise a holiday bursary placement activity for 6 design and technology teachers from local schools. The aim of the placements was to give the teachers the opportunity to: • • • •

visit a number of manufacturing / engineering companies see different aspects of the design and manufacturing process gain information to enhance their teaching of technology make useful contacts within relevant companies

At the “twilight” preparation session the teachers identified the key learning areas that they would like to see included in the programme and these were: a) b) c) d)

Health & Safety procedures / considerations Recycling / waste management CAD design / production planning ‘Lean’ manufacturing

Regent Engineering – who were able to provide access to the manufacture and supply of pressed components including 3D CAD design Sandvik Coromant UK – who demonstrated their range of tungsten carbide cutting tools for the automotive, aerospace and medical industries TTI Group – this company showed the teachers surface engineering and heat treatments, including Plasma Nitriding, for automotive customers such as Harley Davidson and Land Rover At the feedback session, a few weeks after the placements, the teachers shared with the rest of the group and some employer representatives the range of teaching materials / ideas that they had developed as a direct result of their visits and these included: • • • •

photographs drawings powerpoint presentations incorporating video footage other teaching resources.

Walsall EBP then organised a programme, taking these requirements into account, and arranged visits to: Hadley Group – where the group viewed 3D CAD design and the manufacturing processes involved with cold, rolled-steel sections

The programme was an undoubted success and funding is now in place to enable a similar programme to be run during a school holiday in 2011.

The Holiday Bursary teachers pictured receiving their certificates at the feedback session.




• • •


be updated about the work and progress of Walsall EBP; learn more about recent education changes in more detail; meet some of the young people, employers and teachers who had been involved with Walsall EBP activities in the last twelve months; share in the celebration of successes.

The following Walsall EBP Awards, sponsored by Accord Housing, were presented at the Conference: Rising Star Awards: introduced in 2007 to recognise those individuals /organisations who have significantly increased their contribution to education business links in the previous year: • • • • • •

Waldrons Solicitors Accord Housing West Midlands Police GKN Driveline, Erdington Leamore Primary School Wolverhampton University – Walsall Campus

PCSO Bernie Craze West Midlands Police This award is presented to acknowledge the

St Thomas More Catholic Business & Enterprise College This award is presented to acknowledge the

recent support given to Walsall EBP

outstanding support given to Walsall EBP

in its work developing the

in its work developing the employability skills

employability skills of young people.

of young people.

School Award: introduced in 2002 to recognise those schools who it is considered have given outstanding support to education business links over a sustained period: • St Thomas More Catholic Business & Enterprise College

Performance Through People

Rotary Club of Walsall

This award is presented to acknowledge the

This award is presented to acknowledge the

outstanding support given to Walsall EBP

outstanding support given to Walsall EBP

in its work developing the employability skills

in its work developing the employability skills

of young people.

of young people.

Voluntary & Community Award: introduced in 2005 to recognise those voluntary and community organisations who support schools and students through their involvement with Walsall EBP activities: D

• Rotary Club of Walsall

Employer Awards: introduced in 1999 to recognise those organisations that are considered to have given outstanding support to education business link activities over a sustained period. Three categories of award are presented, based on the number of employees in the company and the level of support given to Walsall EBP: a) less than 49 employees – dlh marketing b) 50 – 199 employees – Performance Through People, Walsall c) Over 200 employees – Walsall Housing Group

Walsall EBP 2011 Awards sponsored by Accord Housing

Walsall Education Business Partnership: 4th Floor, Townend House, Townend Square, Walsall WS1 1NS Tel: 01922 424200 Fax: 01922 424243 E-mail: Web: Supported by Walsall Council, Walsall Partnership and Walsall Housing Group

Walsall EBP are extremely grateful to Midcounties Co-operative for their sponsorship of the 2011 Annual Employer Conference and this edition of Partnership News.


Material manufactured using pulp from renewable timber produced on a fully sustainable basis. Virgin pulp bleached by an Elemental Chlorine Free process (ECF). Paper suitable for recycling.

Now in its fifteenth year this annual event once again attracted delegates from a wide range of organisations who wanted to:

EBP Parnership News 2011  

Partnership News 2011

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