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Business mentors help students tackle real-life problems

On 01/11/2017 a group of 20 Year 12 students took part in their first business mentoring session of the Community-Apprentice competition between St Edmund Campion Catholic School and Cross City CCG- A Commissioning Group that ensures the right healthcare for the people of Birmingham.

The mentors have generously agreed to support the students at key points in the ten-month programme, which, like the TV series The Apprentice, requires students to demonstrate personal qualities whilst working in teams to manage their own projects.  In this case, however, the students will be competing to see who can make the biggest positive impact on their community, rather than the most profit.

Tackling real-life problems

The programme, which has recently been recognised by the Department of Education as an effective model for employer engagement, inspires students to develop their employability skills while tackling real-life problems.

Students can tackle whatever issues matter most to them, but they have to reach consensus within their team about what that is.  Team GeO (granting opportunities) have decided to tackle Homelessness and Team Timeless want to help end loneliness in the elderly.   

Maggie Hawken one of the mentors, described the first mentoring session with both teams as ‘Inspirational, I was amazed at the teams’ enthusiasm for their projects- I look forward to seeing them develop!’ 

Developing employability skills 

The competition requires students to develop, and crucially evidence, three key skills; teamwork, creativity and communication.   In the first mentoring session, mentors provided students with examples to demonstrate how valuable these skills are in their own jobs.

Throughout the Community-Apprentice competition, teams take part in inter-school challenges. The first of these, the Film Challenge, develops team-working and communication skills by challenging teams to produce a film of no more than two minutes explaining why their issue matters in a single take! Both teams have now completed the film challenge and are moving on to the next episode-

The Pitching Challenge. To support their ambitious project plans each team can win up to £100 of funding. We are looking forward to seeing how both teams do in their pitches. Good luck!

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