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Schools Blog

Exeter Progression Award – encouraging local talent

20th February 2015

This week Alex and Julie did a double-act with a workshop at Exeter University aimed at students currently in the first year of their A-levels and with an ambition to progress to university after sixth form, and hopefully to secure a place at Exeter University. The workshop was a two-part one with the first set on Social Enterprise as part of the UK economy, and then the second was focussed on digital skills and the careers of the future.

The group were involved in a number of interactive exercises which were aimed at helping them to fully understand some key differences between social enterprises and other business and charity organisations. A game of brands in which they had to decide – private sector, public sector, charity or social enterprise? Students were then asked to discuss their own personal values and how these could be reflected in their future careers working for a social enterprise.

Julie explained – “As an organisation run primarily on values and ethics, Cosmic is a great example to explain to students and to help them to develop their own thinking about business models and the major differences. For a growing number of young people in our society currently the option of working for, or setting up, a social enterprise is a ‘no-brainer’. By working with Exeter University in this way we are helping and motivating the next generation of workers to consider social enterprises as a great choice for them.”

Alex shared with the group a number of thought-provoking reports, videos and statistics about digital skills and digital careers of the future. The group discussed how the Internet of Things would bring about a wide range of new products, services and in particular a new approach to the use of ‘big data’ to inform and enable these new technologies.

Alex – “ The internet of things and big data have always been concepts that really got my imagination going so we knew it was important to discuss these with the year 12 students. The students were from across the south west and some had travelled from as far as Penzance to the workshop in Exeter so it was great to work with students who were so engaged with learning more about business and to be able to talk to them about social enterprise and why it is so important to our economy.”