Daventry event builds links between schools and businesses

Around 40 people turned out to an event held by Daventry District Council and South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) designed to forge links between schools and workplaces.

Taking place at the iCon Innovation Centre in Daventry on Friday 10th May, the Developing Your Future Workforce event saw the two organisations join forces to talk to employers and students and get across the benefits of providing work encounters to young people aged 14 and over. These encounters could be anything from a site visit or mock interview through work experience placements or apprenticeships.

Students from three different Daventry schools – Daventry Hill School, The Parker E-ACT Academy and Danetre and Southbrook Learning Village (DSLV) – and representatives from 14 businesses attended. Marisa Baker from Kingsley Consulting delivered a keynote speech about the next generation of workers and preparing our workforce of the future. Kevin Meeks of Volvo and Stacey Drake of Daventry Hill School presented together, talking about how businesses and schools can work together in partnership to help those children with special needs, such as autism and ADHD, to enter the world of work.

Councillor David James, Daventry District Council’s Economic, Regeneration and Employment Portfolio Holder, said: “The event went really well. Young people were able to find out more about what the workplace is like, what they can expect and what is expected of them. At the same time, employers got an insight into how a young person operates and their potential for development.”

Mark Pople, Daventry District Council’s Strategic Economic Development Officer, said: “We wanted to connect employers with careers teachers and show how we can work with them both to provide work encounters for Year 10 students and upwards."

“Since the event, we have had several discussions with different employers and Daventry Area Community Transport (DACT) have kindly offered to help us with transporting students to their work encounters. We’re really pleased with how it all went.”

Enterprise Co-ordinator Vikki Morton, who is SEMLEP’s lead on this project, added: “This event highlighted the enthusiasm there is for this work, once you get everyone in the same room you see the local community coming together and want to make a difference. Following the event, we are looking at the next steps to continue the momentum to not only help young people, but also to support local businesses and the boost the economy.”

If you are business or school based in the Daventry district and would like to get involved in this project, contact Mark Pople on 01327 302441 or mpople@daventrydc.gov.uk.