Last week I spent the day at Painsley Catholic College in Cheadle Staffordshire.
I was volunteering as part of an industry day called ‘You’re Hired’ where Year 10 students were given the opportunity to experience what the world of work is like.
It was a great day to be involved in from start to finish and was full of interesting lessons that perhaps once you’re in the world of work you take for granted but at the age of 14/15 are in all likelihood new. The task for the day was to write a tender document for an event which included coming up with a company name, logo as well as planning a dinner for 100 people. This needed to include a three-course meal, dressing the room; entertainment and perhaps most importantly ensuring the project came within budget. Certain materials, such as prices for meals, travel costs and entertainment were provided but it was completely down to the students to decide the theme of the night and how this correlated across the food and entertainment.
As a volunteer I was assigned a form group to work with. The class had been mixed up so they weren’t necessarily working with their friends; the lesson here, that you don’t always know the people you work with and aren’t always going to be the best of friends. Before the brief was given the groups were asked to assign roles such as finance manager, marketing manager and catering manager and had to fill in application forms. Although every group got through to the next round theoretically some of them would have fallen at the first hurdle if they hadn’t completed the forms correctly. For example, not using blue or black pen as the form had stated. Or not including full address details and contact details. A harsh but realistic lesson for the students that their application might not make it through the first stage if not filled in correctly.
For the rest of the day the students worked in their groups designing their logos, coming up with their theme and creating a menu and choosing entertainment to fit the brief.
As an outsider it was interesting to see how each group tackled the project. Which parts they spent more time on or struggled more with but what impressed me the most was how well they all worked together. Assigning each other tasks but working together if a problem arose. Furthermore, the final task was to present in front of their form and then the winning group from each form then presented in front of their year group, an extremely daunting task when faced with 150 faces looking at you!
I took so much from the day. It was immensely interesting as the brief and planning of such an event is what I do every day! I was impressed that the students really got the concept of a theme and created some really original ideas that were clearly visible across the event. There were some harsh lessons to be learnt with a tight budget meaning that the entertainment particularly had to be tailored to fit and perhaps the house wine would have to do! But I really enjoyed being able to use my skill set and work with a group of enthusiastic teenagers who put a lot of hard work and effort into the day.
What’s more is that I would have loved the opportunity to have worked with ‘real’ people in industry with a wide variety of jobs and skills to come and work with me when I was in school. Particularly realising what a wide variety of jobs are out there! I take my hat off to the school for being so forward thinking and creating such a day, now in it’s tenth year, which is no doubt an exciting break from the norm for both students and teachers.
It was a privilege to be involved and I can’t wait for next year, although I should watch my back though as there was some real talent there!