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Pupils at Aldersley High School take the Robotic Challenge. The first school event as part of the Black Country LEP Passport to Employment programme

150 year 9 pupils from Aldersley High School took part in a Robotic Challenge and a Getting a Job in the Sector event on Thursday 7 December, the first event of its kind as part of the Black Country LEP Passport to Employment programme.

This first event was delivered by Wolverhampton Education Business Partnership (EBP) and Business in the Community (BITC) and supported by 20 employer volunteers including representatives from Moog, UTC Marstons, JCB, Atkins and Albert Jaggar.

Funded by the Careers & Enterprise Company through their Investment Fund, the Passport to Employment, led by the Black Country LEP supports young people across the Black Country to develop their careers in key transformational sectors including Advanced Manufacturing, Building Technologies, Transport Technologies, Environmental Technologies and Business Services.

The Robotic Challenge, led by Wolverhampton EBP, saw pupils work in teams to design and assemble a working robot from a kit of parts with advice and guidance from the employer volunteers. The ‘Getting a Job in the Sector’ session led by BITC and volunteers from Moog and UTC Marstons raised awareness of the types of careers on offer, the range of career pathways available and the skills needed to get an advanced manufacturing sector, particularly for apprenticeships.

Nicola Davis, Executive Principal Aldersley High School said: “Aldersley High School is an innovative school: we work in a range of ways to support our students to achieve excellence. The Passport to Employment events including the Robotic Challenge really engaged our pupils and proved to be hugely inspiring for them. Not only did they meet employers and hear first-hand the skills they will need to develop their careers, but they received hands on experience which got them thinking about the scope of opportunities within manufacturing and engineering careers.”
Peter Henderson, Managing Director of a local Engineering Company and the Enterprise Adviser matched with Aldersley High School said: “Events such as these enable employers to demonstrate the range of opportunities and careers within our sectors. They also mean we can make sure we are talking to young people about the skills we are going to need for the future putting today’s students on the right path to ensure we are prepared for future skills gaps. It’s exciting to be working now with the engineers and manufacturers of the future.”

The Passport to Employment programme, which will run until September 2017, will enable schools and teachers to work confidently with employers to understand the careers and pathways in the Black Country key sectors and to build long term, high quality relationships that will enhance careers and employability learning within the school’s curriculum.

The programme is a unique opportunity for local employers to contribute to the development of the skills and talent needed to build the future workforce and ensure economic prosperity in the Black Country. We are keen to hear from employers across all sectors who have opportunities for young people to join their businesses.

The Careers & Enterprise Company is an employer-led organisation that has been set up to inspire and prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work. The Passport to Employment will be led by the Black Country LEP in partnership with Business in the Community as well as the Education Business Partnerships across Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall.

The project has also received funding from the National Careers Service.

Click here for further information on the Passport to Employment project.

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