Skills Pledge boost

By on 16/07/2009 in News

Birmingham pupils are to gain a head start in the world of work with the signing of a “Skills Pledge” by contractors carrying out the £2.4 billion transformation of all the city's secondary schools.

The Skills Pledge commits them to help city pupils with a range of work-related activities, including CV writing, work experience, apprenticeships and mentoring.

Catalyst - the developer selected to lead the programme - and its entire supply chain signed the agreement pledging to provide pupils with access to business expertise during the 15-year lifespan of the Building Schools for the Future programme and beyond.

Among the list of provision Catalyst and its partners have committed to deliver are:

• Help pupils with CV writing and develop interview skills
• Mentors to support young people with training
• Work placements of up to ten days
• Site visits and workshops
• In school learning opportunities
• Curriculum development
• Work taster DVDs

The Skills Pledge was signed by Roger Thompson, General Manager of Catalyst Education and Cllr Les Lawrence, Birmingham City Council's Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families.

Cllr Lawrence said: “We are constantly looking for new and inventive ways to develop the educational opportunities of our young people.

“The Skills Pledge is an example of how we can engage with our partners to improve learning experiences in this city.

“The Building Schools for the Future drive will not only deliver 21st Century school buildings and new jobs, it will also bring a wealth of industry expertise to this city which we want to utilise to the benefit of our young people.”

About 200 suppliers from firms providing kitchen equipment to companies delivering ICT into schools have signed the Skills Pledge.

Though the Building Schools for the Future programme is expected to take 15-years to complete, it is anticipated relationships with suppliers will continue into the future.

Birmingham City Council Leader Cllr Mike Whitby said: “We know the business community wants people coming out of our schools who are work ready.

“It is important that young have a sound understanding of the world of work and what it entails from soft skills, such as turning up on time and CV writing, to key skills such as numeracy and literacy.

“The Skills Pledge we have signed today with our Building Schools for the Future partners will ensure our school leavers have a head start when it comes to being prepared for future employment.”
Notes to Editors
• BSF is a national initiative that aims to deliver 21st century schools for every secondary school pupil in England. It represents the single largest investment for improving school buildings in more than 50 years and aims to be complete in 15 to 20 years time.

• The Transforming Education programme in Birmingham includes Birmingham Academies, BSF, the Primary Strategy for Change, and the Review of Special Provision.

• Due to the high volume of secondary schools in Birmingham the overall BSF programme will take place in six distinct phases. For Phase 1, £152.4 million has been secured from the government to redevelop ten sites. These schools are Holte, Waverley, Four Dwellings High, Park View, Broadway, Moseley, George Dixon International, The International School, Stockland Green and Saltley

Sample Schools
Transformation is already underway in the first sample schools. The sample schools have been involved in design, curriculum and ICT consultations to produce a model of what they would like their new/refurbished schools to look like. The models will reflect individual school needs and embrace 21st century learning.

These schools are:
• Broadway School in Perry Barr
• Stockland Green Technology College in Erdington
• Co-location site hosting Mayfield School, Holte Secondary School and Lozells Primary Mayfield School, Holte Secondary

The eight proposed Birmingham Academies are St Alban's CofE, Heartlands High, College High, Harborne Hill, Sheldon Heath, Shenley Court, The Birmingham Ormiston Academy - Digital Media and Performing Arts and the Aston University Engineering Academy, Birmingham

Full details can be found on

Attached photo shows (from left to right) Roger Thompson, General Manager of Catalyst Education, Sylvia McNamara, Director of Transforming Education for Birmingham City Council and Cllr Les Lawrence, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families.
Further information from Shahid Naqvi 0121 303 3635.


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.