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Bishops Stortford, Herts, United Kingdom, 2012/04/04 - Passmores Academy pupils, made famous by the Channel 4 ‘hit fly on the wall’ TV series “Educating Essex”, benefit from OnTrack International's Campus to Corporate programme - OnTrackInternational.com.
Passmores Academy, a secondary school in Harlow, hit the headlines in September 2011 with the Channel 4 ‘hit fly on the wall’ TV series “Educating Essex”. Before this series was aired, or even rumoured, OnTrack International were working with Harlow Education Consortium to identify a school and pupils that would benefit from OnTracks Community Investment programme.
Each year OnTrack invests time and resources in worthwhile community projects. In this case it was drawing on OnTracks Campus to Corporate programme targeted at helping school leavers and graduates make the transition to corporate life and adding value swiftly and effectively to their employers.
Sessions were run for Passmores students to help them identify and develop some of the skills they will need when entering the corporate world. The idea of the sessions was to teach the pupils some skills that would serve them well in school, in work and in life, bridging the gap between academia and commerce.
Very much on the “Learning by Doing” mindset, OnTrack decided on some practical exercises which would replicate real life experiences. Passmores Academy identified a group of their Able, Gifted & Talented pupils. Assistant Principal, Susan Byrd commented;
“The group we selected were of a high ability but were on a very academic path. Therefore they would be able to take a lot from this real life experience and relate it back to their studies. The idea being they can take it out of context of the day and will be able to utilise the training in future careers and even private life.”
Part of the national curriculum that OnTrack and Passmores Academy worked together to address was the enterprise and financial awareness topic. As Susan had stated, the pupils are well versed in the theory behind enterprise and finance but had never been given the opportunity to relate it into practical terms which this project aimed to do.
OnTrack International (ontrackinternational.com) devised a few exercises that would address this aspect and also another key area for development that was identified. Pupils can have difficulty in expressing feelings and communicating with teachers and each other. So on that basis, OnTrack designed a solution around assertiveness and how behaviours impact on your perceived image. The quote from one of the pupils below shows that this aspect was a great success;
“I learnt that I have to try and be more positive about myself and other people in order to be respected in the workplace.”
In all 30 pupils from Year 10 of Passmores Academy took part in the sessions from OnTrack International. Training young adults of 14-15 years of age is a departure from OnTrack’s usual work with Middle Managers to Board level executives of large global organisations but it was no less interesting, or surprising.
The practical exercise was altered slightly for the younger audience but in one of the exercises a group of Passmores Academy pupils performed exceptionally well. If this group has been in the company of OnTrack's usual client base they would have matched the results of high powered executives in some of the world’s largest organisations.
Susan Byrd of Passmores Academy;
“The sessions had such a nice atmosphere, it was jovial and the demeanour was excellent. It was so generous of OnTrack to provide that for us, it was great to be able to give the pupils something we would not have the opportunity to do. It’s an experience we could not provide for them and we are delighted with the result.”
Business is under ever increasing pressure with the consequences of the credit crunch, rising material costs and lower revenues being just some of the factors impacting on profits and shareholder value. There is also increasing pressure on businesses to recruit or implement (socially responsible) apprentice programs.
The big gestures by the few can be of great help, but the smaller enterprises can help in other ways in their own communities. If smaller enterprises were to embark on activities such as this, would our young people be more aware of the opportunities and be more commercially savvy?
A pupil from the Able, Gifted and Talented group at Passmores Academy: "It was inspiring."
• OnTrack International were established in 1988.
• OnTrack develop an organisations people to address real business challenges.
• They inspire people to Think. Believe. Achieve.
• We help some of the world's largest organisations stay successful.
• OnTrack provide global L&D solutions to their impressive client list.