More than 40 Employers, teachers, careers advisers and business leaders interested in helping young people to find out about the world of work attended an ‘Opening Doors’ event at the Palace Theatre in Redditch on Wednesday 24 January.
The aim of this informal event was to connect businesses, organisations and schools, enabling young people to find out about what is being made, built, produced and created in their local area. The Opening Doors event was organised by North Worcestershire Economic Development and Regeneration (NWedR), working in partnership with the Royal Society of Arts (RSA).
Lee Weatherly, Chair of the North Worcestershire Employment and Skills Board said:
“It is clear from the feedback at the event that the Opening Doors initiative is now gathering momentum and we have a committed group of teachers, careers advisors and business leaders on board and ready to take it forward.
“The Opening Doors programme provides opportunities to showcase to 14, 15 and 16 year olds what happens locally within the world of work. Schools organise groups, within curriculum time, to visit local organisations and businesses so they can see first hand what goes on during the working day. It also highlights the opportunities open to those with the right skills and qualifications. Last year, students across North Worcestershire visited a whole range of organisations, from manufacturing, the Police, retail, hospitality and public sectors.”
Arvind Batra, Community Development Co-ordinator RSA Family of Academies said:
“It was inspiring to see the business and school community of Redditch get together for the benefit of the young people in our schools. Opening Doors is a great platform to support careers education and both the schools and businesses welcomed the opportunity to network at the event. Teachers were very thankful at the ease and simplicity of the project, a model which is a very cost-effective solution for all involved.”
The Opening Doors initiative has been running in Wyre Forest for the last two years. During 2017 it was trialled in Redditch and is now being extended into Bromsgrove. The scheme has already proved very successful, with positive feedback from both students and employers.
Andy Bywater, Skills and Employment Officer, NWedR said:
“From what we have learned already, The Opening Doors scheme is really valued by 14 year olds as well as 15 and 16 year olds. Feedback from teachers and students said that seeing inside different workplaces has also helped with choosing subject options at GCSE level so we intend to make the scheme available to this wider age group.“
Lee Weatherly concludes
“If you are a teacher or employer in Bromsgrove or Redditch and would like to get involved with Opening Doors, do get in touch with NWedR – Sharon Forrest or Georgina Harris on Info@nwedr.org.uk or telephone 0845 601 5953 option 1.”
The Opening Doors step by step guide for businesses and teachers will be available from the NWedR and RSA Family of Academies websites at the end of February 2018.
See the video from the 2017 Opening Doors for Business scheme.
Photographs from the Palace Theatre Opening Doors event, Wednesday 24 January 2018