Business people from the NHS, Sellafield Ltd, the Box Encapsulation Project Delivery Team, West House and Words by Rachel joined Choose Cumbria to support the session at the school earlier in July.
The session aimed to demonstrate the importance of adapting writing for different purposes and audiences. Business representatives brought in examples from blogs and tweets to business papers, leaflets and magazine articles. The students reviewed the various types of writing and began to appreciate the range of styles used in everyday work.
Tessa Bishop, English Teacher at St Benedict’s said “We really wanted to motivate the students and show that the work we do in school provides them with transferable skills for potential employers”.
It was a fantastic opportunity to link to the Choose Cumbria campaign which encourages Cumbrian’s to think about staying in Cumbria or to spend some time away, but to return with new skills and experience to support the businesses and communities in the area. As well as considering the activities available in Cumbria students were surprised to learn that comparatively in Cumbria average wages are high, and average house prices are low. Feedback also showed that the students appreciated learning more about the wide range of exciting employment opportunities there are in the area, including for the NHS and for women in engineering.
The session was supported by Business Connector – Katie Harper. She said “It has been fantastic to work with St Benedict’s School, Choose Cumbria and such a broad range of businesses that are so important in the area to develop this event. We evolved the idea of bringing business people into to support the young people in developing their knowledge of the skills required in the workplace, and the opportunities available to them in Cumbria between us. The feedback from the students showed they had learnt a lot about how we use written communication, for some of them it had reinforced their ideas about their career choices, but quite a few described that it had brought new thoughts into play which could influence their decision to stay in the area or return at some point. They also commented on the number of exciting opportunities they now know are available in Cumbria.”
“It’s wonderful to see schools linking curriculum work to real life business situations. The session gave the students lots to think about and, as businesses, we always learn something new from doing these sessions too” Dianne Richardson Socio-Economic Manager for the Box Encapsulation Project Delivery Team
“It was great to work with a group of talented students who all tackled the session with enthusiasm – not only sharing some insightful ideas but providing a fresh new perspective. As a communications specialist I work with a wide variety of clients who all want different messages packaged up and distributed to different audiences. Learning how to use different techniques in your writing is vital in any workplace and I hope that we helped the students to see the importance of communicating creatively and effectively, in order to reach a desired outcome. Working with the fantastic Choose Cumbria brand is always a pleasure. Encouraging talent to stay, return or relocate to the region can only have a positive effect on our economy, culture and quality of life.” Rachel Suddart, of Words by Rachel.
Katie Harper has been seconded by United Utilities for a year to work as a Business Connector in West Cumbria. She has been supporting schools and colleges as well as working on other projects in the community. This session has been developed as a pilot, and can be used in other schools or colleges across the County.