This month a group of Year 12 students took part in their first business mentoring session of the Community Apprentice competition with Envision UK and won the first challenge, the Film Challenge. For these sessions 12 students travelled to the offices of Ansarada, a company which deals with high-level data storage and transfers.
The Ansarada mentors have generously agreed to support the students at key points in the ten-month programme. Much like the TV series The Apprentice, it requires students to demonstrate personal qualities whilst working in teams to manage their own projects. Though in this case, 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, and the Paddington Academy team called CyberDamage and decided to tackle cyberbullying, an issue which the Year 12 students believe is particularly prevalent among young people using social media.
Developing employability skills
The competition requires students to develop, and crucially evidence, three key skills: communication, teamwork and creativity. In the first mentoring session, mentors provided students with examples of how to develop teamwork and creativity skills and evidencing 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! This is a demanding challenge for individuals who are still coming together as a team, however all teams rose to the challenge and these are the film PA students won the competition with this film which is available for you to view down below.
CyberDamage Film Challenge
Both the students and mentors are looking forward to the next Business Mentoring session, where teams will be getting tips to help their communication skills. This is so they are ready for the second part of the competition, the Pitching Challenge, where they will have to pitch their idea of how they aim to best make a positive impact in their community in the hope of receiving up to £100 of seed funding for their social action projects.