Year 7 and 8 take on the challenge of the Bright Future Enterprise and Employability Workshop
As part of our extensive careers and Future Skills Programme, Bright Futures Experience Ltd were once again invited into school to give an Enterprise and Employability Workshop for Year 7 at St Mary’s, followed by an Employability Workshop for Year 8.
By going head-to head with other teams to complete competitive, realistic marketplace challenges, the students had a taste of how exciting it is to set up and run their own businesses. These activities illustrated how strategy and organisation are critical for success in the business world.
The first interactive session taught Year 7 about entrepreneurship, the top skills used by successful entrepreneurs, and the difference between commercial and social enterprise. They also took part in an activity that introduced Labour Market Information, to help them make informed career choices. Students explored growth sectors in the economy, how numerous vacancies are advertised, and what people get paid for specific jobs.
The session began with a social enterprise challenge that involved making a product, a Makarapa Hat, and showcasing it to the year group. This was followed by Festival Frenzie – a risk and reward challenge that tasked students with deciding whether to buy wellington boots or sunglasses to sell at an imaginary summer music festival. The weather was determined by a roll of dice, adding an element of risk. Students loved it when their risk paid off, and learned valuable lessons about how to manage risk, safe ways of investing their money and how to spend money wisely. Working in teams, this challenge also helped to strengthen their communication and teamwork skills, which are invaluable in the workplace.
The Year 7 students described their morning by saying:
"It helped me better understand working together and how to improve my practical skills."
"I learned that taking risks is a good thing to help improve your skill set."
"It was great to learn how to start a business."
"It was a brilliant morning and everyone thought it was great fun."
In the afternoon, Year 8 took on their Bright Futures challenge, finding out more about the supply chain and how many components and companies are involved in making the iPhone. The session rounded off with a production and trading challenge based on Dragon’s Den. In their teams, the students had to make display boxes for loyalty cards, using paper, pens, Sellotape and scissors that were 'purchased' at an imaginary shop at a set cost. They then had to sell their products back to the shop for a profit. The students learned the value of dividing the tasks up between their team-mates to produce their boxes more efficiently and negotiating the selling price to increase their net profit. Through this task, students modelled the concept of global supply chains and deepened their understanding of the complex relationship between the job roles and activities that lead from raw materials to end customer and, ideally, profit.
These tasks not only modelled real-world business concept and scenarios, but also allowed students to practice the skills essential in workplaces, including time management, communication skills and teamwork.
In summing up their experience, Year 8 said:
"We enjoyed running a business."
"We learned to be more efficient."
"We enjoyed the profit-making challenge and the creativity needed to design a range of display units."
Learn about the careers programme at St Mary's School