Published 24 March 2017

Day-long workshop builds on links with local business

Building teamwork and leadership skills were all in a day’s work for a group of Year 8 students at Wymondham College as they held a property auction to ‘sell off’ part of the school. Seven senior surveyors, estate agents and marketers from local property firm Arnolds Keys devised the one day workshop, which saw the students evaluate, market and ‘sell off’ parts of the college campus in a realistic exercise designed to mirror the residential, commercial and agricultural property business.

Students staff WC

Local business people, parents and teachers were all ‘bidders’ at the final auction, which saw the principal of the college, Jonathan Taylor, ‘buying back’ his own office, a staff flat and a piece of pony paddock for the school.

The day was organised by school student futures co-ordinator Liz Edwards, SHINE Programme lead Becky Arnold and school Enterprise Adviser Jan Hÿtch, Operations Partner at Arnolds Keys, as part of the Shine Programme, which is working with a selected group of Year 8 boys to encourage their engagement with academic and college life.

“The team from Arnolds Keys brought a brilliant taste of the work place to our students,” said Becky Arnold.  “The boys were able to make clear links between skills learnt in the classroom and how these need to be applied in different tasks. It was great to see them all solving problems, negotiating and working as a team with a real desire to have a top quality auction as the finale.  The day involved using specialist equipment, creating spreadsheets with property information, observation, note-taking and then designing and producing property particulars. The auction was conducted in front of staff, students and parents and it was fantastic to see some of the boys really shine as they took on the role of auctioneers and clerks.”

Jan Hÿtch added, “It is vital for businesses to engage with young people while they are still in education, to demonstrate in a practical way how what they are learning in the classroom is relevant to the skills that they will need when they enter the world of employment. The corporate world sometimes bemoans the fact that young people leaving education don’t always understand the world of work.  But it is incumbent on those of us in business to do what we can to put that right.”

The Shine Programme is funded by the Times Educational Supplement and SHINE which is a charity that gives children the opportunity to acquire the skills and confidence they need to turn their potential into success at school and beyond

As the school’s enterprise adviser, Jan Hÿtch is working with staff at the school to advise on their employer engagement strategy, and helping the school build a better network of business contacts.

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