Student News: Real Business Scheme for Enterprising Pupils

In a scheme that saw a multi-national company team up with the UK’s premier exam boards, students all across the country took part in a fantastic project in which they showcased their business skills. Young Academic outlines the ‘Real Business Challenge for Enterprising Students’ and examines which schools and colleges fared the best…

The Real Business Challenge is formulated in partnership with Real Radio and Edexcel, the leading provider of educational qualifications.  The challenge aims to give students aged 14 and 15 genuine business experience and provide them with some of the skills and attributes needed in a work environment. Throughout the challenge, the school teams participated in a variety of workshops and received coaching from Real Radio and Edexcel representatives.

This year the challenge has been aligned to the BTEC Workskills qualification and students taking part have been able to gain accreditation equivalent to ¼ GCSE.

Schools from Scotland, Wales, London, the Midlands, the North East, South East and Yorkshire yesterday travelled in star-studded style to the finals at the prestigious headquarters of BAFTA in London. Once there, the students were mentored by celebrity guest judge, Phil Packer MBE, as well as business professionals from Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), who provided them with expert insight and advice to develop a new soft drink.  Following presentations by the schools, Ridgewood School from Doncaster were crowned the 2011 Real Business Challenge Champions.

Simon Baldry, Managing Director of CCE GB, says: ““Since its inception six years ago, more than 30,000 young people have benefited from the Real Business Challenge.  The programme enables students to experience business first-hand and to practice skills that will give them a competitive edge in the job market. At CCE we recognise how important it is for young people to have access to business mentors, which is why our staff also participate in the challenge. It is inspiring to see so many young people full of innovation and enterprise and we are pleased to help foster their entrepreneurial spirit.”

Luke Shemilt, teacher at Ridgewood School, said: We are so proud of the team who have worked incredibly hard and thoroughly deserve their success. It just goes to show that hard work and preparation pays off – our students have learned so much and it has been a really rewarding experience for them.”

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