Entering the Dragons’ Den

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 / ianrichardhinchliffe.co.uk

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

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.

 

 

 

July 21st, 2016 by