Category: Education to Employment

July 21st, 2016 by Michael Millward

Well it had to happen, today I entered the Dragons’ Den. Not the Dragons’s Den of BBC2 TV fame. I have not been subject to the attentions of Debrorah Meaden or an inquistion from Peter Jones.

No the Dragons’ Den that I entered was completely different, and I was a dragon.

The event was the Business in the Community HEART residential at Leeds Beckett University. The Dragons’ Den took place on the third day.

The HEART partnership was established to help build equality of access to higher education for all those pupils who are capable of succeeding at that level and would benefit from the experience. The aim is to encourage under represented groups to access higher education. These groups include people who may have

  • experience of living in care
  • certain disabilities
  • lived in areas of multiple deprivation
  • lived in families with no direct experience fo highher education

The Dragons’ Den forms part of a residential for young people that was designed to increase their confidence and self-esteem, as well as bringing out the students’ skills and qualities so that they can build a better understanding of the world of work and business.

The students were introduced to the world of commerce with an upcycling project in which they were challenged to create something useful from obsolete computer equipment. The project required the students to learn and understand and then put into practice the skills required to solve problems, manage a project, work as a team, communicate effectively and present their ideas.

I was one of the local business people who was asked to assessed the upcycled products that the young people had created. Along the way I had to explain to one of the project teams what a floppy disk is. Apparently it is not something that the young people of today are familiar with.

HEART Partnership three day residential summer school. West Yorkshire, UK. Ian Hinchliffe /

HEART Partnership three day residential summer school. West Yorkshire, UK.
Ian Hinchliffe /

Without good role models and encouragement there is a risk that the young people of the United Kingdom will not build successful working lives. The Confederation of British Business (CBI) agrees with Business in the Community (BITC) that support from businesses can help schools to raise pupil aspirations further, acheive more and helps young people understand and prepare for the world outside the school gates. Schools have also acknowledged that good employer – education engagement as a means of inspiring improved attainment levels and raising pupil aspirations.

The statistics are quite sobering

  • 1 in 5 children leave school to become NEETs not in education, employment or training
  • 30% of UK employers say that school leavers are too costly to employ because they lack the skills that employers need for them to fill entry level vacancies.
  • 88% of pupils would welcome more access to employers to learn about work and bridge the gap between education and employment.




Posted in Conferences, Education, Education to Employment, Uncategorized

December 10th, 2015 by Michael Millward

Michael Millward has completed two sessions of mock job interviews for pupils studying for a Certificate of Personal Effectiveness.

This is a qualifications that aims to enable candidates to develop and demonstrate personal, key and employability skills, leading to personal effectiveness, and to broaden experience and manage learning through the enrichment activities provided by the ASDAN challenges. The purpose of the qualification is to develop these generic skills so that pupils can receive formal recognition through certification.

The interviews took place over two afternoons and involved pupils who want to undertake careers in automotive repair, information technology, childcare and the entertainment industries.

Following the interviews each candidate receives feedback on both the good aspects of their interview and those areas that could be improved.

Posted in Education to Employment, Uncategorized

November 9th, 2015 by Michael Millward

Today Michael Millward led a skills workshop at a Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Science event at Leeds University Business School.

The event gave year 12 and 13 pupils studying A level and equivalent qualifications from several schools an understanding of the nature of work, employment and unemployment in a 21st century City.

The aims of the event was to give participants’ an awareness of the potential and limitations of data, particularly quantitative data to help them understand work, employment, unemployment and welfare in a 21st Century City.

Through a focus on the themes of social exclusion, skills, the sociology of work, welfare and support, and with a specific focus on the City of Leeds, the event demonstrated how  understanding data can assist people to understand work, employment, unemployment and welfare on an individual and collective level.

Many of the pupils that attended were studying sociology, geography, politics and business disciplines.

Michael Millward led a workshop that assisted teh participating students identify the data sources that would help them identify the level of demand from employers for the skills and knowledge they were gaining from their studies and therefore how easy it might be for them to find employment when they leave formal education.

Michael also participated in a question and answer session at the end of the event.

Posted in Education to Employment

July 9th, 2015 by Michael Millward

Yesterday evening Michael Millward attended a pupil celebration event at Boston Spa School where he is a voluntary member of the Board of Governors.

The event was held at the Mercure Hotel in Wetherby, and celebrated the success of the younger pupils in the school.

As well as celebrating academic attainment, pupils were also recognised for the contribution that they make to the life of the community of the school.

The event was attended by parents, who Michael said in his closing remarks were also worth recognising  and congratulating for the contribution they made to supporting the education of their children.

Posted in Abeceder, Education, Education to Employment

August 17th, 2012 by Michael Millward

Today, 17 August 2012, Michael Millward marks thirty-one years since he started his career as a human resources professional. 17th August 1981, just a weekend after receiving his ‘A’ Level results he started work as an ‘A’ Level entry trainee in what was then called the Personnel and Training Department of the regional headquarters of the National Health Service in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

It has been an eventful few years reflected Mr Millward, “Looking back at me on that first day no one would have imagined that I would have enjoyed the successful international career that I have. That I would found and manage a growing employee management consultancy or that I would become a branch chair of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development North Yorkshire Branch, serve on the Institutes National Council and become an ambassador for the National Training Awards.”

Yet even though the world of 2012 is completely different to the heady days of the nineteen –eighties many things about the world seem strangely familiar, said Mr Millward.

Although I now have a Masters degree, and deliver guest lectures at several universities I started my career as an ‘A’ Level trainee. The aim was to get a few years of real work experience, build up a financial security blanket and do some growing-up before heading off to university.

In 2012 global accountants PwC are reporting a huge increase in interest from ‘A’ Level students in their entry programme, perhaps because of the imposition of increased university fees.

Similarly when Michael Millward started work he was automatically enrolled into the NHS pension scheme, there was no option to opt out, that was introduced later in the name of freedom of choice.

Now in 2012 into company pension schemes auto enrolment is being reintroduced as a step towards helping to protect people from poverty in their retirement.

It is unfortunate commented Mr Millward that even though as a nation we are fully aware of the issues of income in retirement that a survey of 1,847 employees not currently in a qualifying pension scheme, conducted by the National employment savings trust (Nest) Corporation found that 16% of respondents would definitely opt out of their pension scheme once opted in through auto-enrolment.

People really need to know how auto enrolment will affect them said Mr Millward.

As a country we need to improve the information that we communicate to everyone about the importance of preparing for retirement from the earliest possible age said Mr Millward who now admits that he is extremely grateful that he has been saving for his retirement for 31 years.


Posted in Abeceder, CIPD, Education to Employment, Pay and Benefits