Teenagers from four Fenland colleges got a taste of what it is like to run a business at two day-long workshops aimed at helping them to prepare for the world of work.
They pitted their wits against each other in an “enterprise game” in which they were made responsible for managing a country house hotel. It was designed to get them thinking about the crucial factors that businesses have to consider when making decisions .
Working in small groups, they were presented with a series of realistic scenarios to consider and a choice of ways to respond. They were scored on the impact their decisions had on their hotel’s profits, staff morale and reputation.
The winning team on each day was awarded prizes donated by Produce World, one of several companies taking part in the workshops.
The game proved the most popular feature of the two “Employability Skills Days” held at the Boathouse in Wisbech last month. They brought together more than 100 Year 10 students from Sir Harry Smith Community College, Cromwell Community College, Neale-Wade Academy and Thomas Clarkson Academy.
The students were also taught all the basics of writing personal statements and CVs and presenting themselves well at interviews. Their response was overwhelmingly positive, with 85 per cent saying they now felt more confident about applying for jobs.
The two days were organised by the Fenland Enterprise in Education (FEE) Project and Fenland District Council. Other employers lending extra support included Anglian Water, ALS Food and Pharmaceutical, MWH Global, Grontmij and CUB UK, along with Jobcentre Plus, the NHS and Luminus.
FEE Project manager Katie Hart said: “Both days were a tremendous success and great fun. It was so good to see the students learning from local business leaders, growing in confidence and discovering talents that they didn’t realise they had.
“We’d like to extend a huge thank you to all the business people who supported the event. They made a big impact on the students.”
The FEE Project was set up in 2011 to build closer links between schools and colleges and business. It provides a range of opportunities and activities aimed at helping students to get a rounded view of the business world and employers to identify new talent.