Paddington Academy students have been selected for the finals of London’s Community-Apprentice this year. 28 teams from schools across the city have taken part in the competition this year. Loosely based on the The Apprentice on television, young people are required to develop, and crucially demonstrate, skills and personal qualities whilst managing their own projects. In this case, however, young people compete to benefit the community, rather than make the most profit.
Envision teams have worked really hard since September researching problems, identifying an issue, planning what to do about it and overcoming a range of problems to make it happen. Now they have been reflecting on what they have achieved and the impact the experience has had on themselves and others.
Taking action to benefit others
Team Helping Hand were passionate about educating others about the wealth inequality prevalent throughout Westminster, and how poverty has affected families. They have carried out a series of tutor groups, and an event where they held a presentation and received donations for food banks and charity shops. The team make sure that they communicate their message in a fun and positive way as they believe that if they’re too serious people will take less interest. So far, they’ve spoken to over 500 young people and 100 community members – so it looks like its working! The team have made it through to the final!
You can watch a short three minute film about their projects here.
Evidencing employability skills
Students had to present their projects to a panel of judges. As well as evidencing how they have helped other people, they were also required to clearly articulate their own development during the programme drawing on specific examples.
As well as helping them in the competition, this reflection will provide them with examples for interviews for further education or jobs. Employers are we increasingly interested in transferable skills, like team working and problem solving, and we want to help our students to know how to evidence examples which demonstrate this.
Employees from Tideway Central have been mentoring students throughout the project. The students have had sessions developing their teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills throughout the past year. The Tideway Central team have described the Helping Hands students as an inspiring bunch, with a lot of resilience and perseverance demonstrated throughout their project. The students have been a credit to Paddington Academy.
Whatever the results in the competition, it is clear that PA students have really enjoyed this experience, made a difference for others and gained a lot from it themselves.