May 12, 2016

Colston’s Leading the Way in Employability Skills

An innovative employability programme launched this year by Colston’s School which prepares students for life in the global economy, has impressed industry professionals from across Bristol at an outstanding project showcase event.

The scheme named Future Leaders is the brainchild of Colston’s Deputy Headmaster (Academic) Dr Paul Hill and gives students a head start with preparations for university applications, career choices and of course the employability skills that are in such high demand from employers.

Run in partnership with leading organisations including the University of Bristol, Google, Super Camps and the Bristol Aerospace Centre, the highlight of the programme for students has been the chance to undertake real-world projects with industry partners over a four-month period.

Students have developed location devices with Bristol University, created business proposals for Google, helped Bristol University bring science alive to primary-age children and developed exhibitions to help launch the new Bristol Aerospace Centre.

Deputy Headmaster (Academic), Dr Paul Hill said “The key to the success of this programme has been the partnership we have developed with world-leading organisations who have helped our students to apply their employability skills in challenging real-world contexts.  Our students are competing in an increasingly globalised and competitive world and the Future Leaders Programme is at the core of our Sixth Form offering.”

Emeritus Professor at Bristol University Joe McGeehan said “We set the students a demanding project which would be beyond the capabilities of most Sixth Formers. The outcome has been incredible and the students have gained tremendous confidence as well as valuable project management skills. We must expose youngsters to the world of industry and commerce during their time at school to ensure that we have a supply of talented individuals to drive the British economy in the future.”

Dr Terry McMaster, Director of the Bristol Doctoral College at Bristol University said “Developing skills that are required by employers today is vital, and schools must seek to provide opportunities for students to learn, practice, and apply these. Throughout these projects we have instilled the importance of teamwork as well as the ability to communicate a scientific idea or theory in a way that is accessible to all. In all of the outreach work that we do, the partnership-working with the students at Colston’s is one of my favourite and most innovative programmes. The students have boundless energy and possess an inspiring attitude to learning and progressing their own development.”

Pictured above, Professor Joe McGeehan investigating one of the pupil’s antennas.