More than 90 pupils, teachers and business leaders from across Barnsley came together to celebrate the first anniversary of the Made in Barnsley initiative, at a special awards ceremony which took place at Barnsley Town Hall.
Pupils from Four Secondary schools Horizon, The Dearne ALC, Outwood Shafton and Holy Trinity were given the chance to meet the Mayor of Barnsley, Cllr Jeff Ennis presented the children with a number of awards in recognition of the work undertaken during the first year on the programme.
Amongst the award winners was Megan Bailey, a pupil at Dearne ALC School, who used her artistic skills to secure one of the top honours on the evening, winning Made In Barnsley’s design a logo competition.
Megan’s work will be used to promote Made In Barnsley and all pupils taking part in the programme were presented with a pin badge featuring Megan’s work. During the evening Megan was presented with a £50 Meadowhall voucher by The Mayor, in recognition of her creative work, as well as a gold pin badge with her design.
Made In Barnsley is a long term initiative designed to forge stronger links between Barnsley’s schools and the local business community, encouraging students to learn and develop the key skills needed to succeed in the workplace, whilst also helping to showcase a diverse range of career opportunities available through local businesses working in the borough.
The programme is supported by local businesses Naylor Industries, Henry Boot, Workwise and Barnsley Healthcare Federation and the three year programme is designed to help year nine pupils who are considering their GCSE options to explore the very different career opportunities available after leaving school within the Barnsley borough.
The concept for Made in Barnsley was pioneered by Barnsley Healthcare Federation and forms a three year programme, working with pupils between years 9-11 to help build confidence in the classroom and participate in a range of different vocational activities, whilst working with members of the business community. Examples of work undertaken this year have included pupils being put through their paces by the Territorial Army, as well as being given the chance to plan GP practices of the future.
Jim Logan, Chief Executive Barnsley Healthcare Federation said:
“I regularly meet with business owners throughout Barnsley, and it struck me that there is clear gap between the skills taught in the classroom and the ones needed to succeed in the workplace. It’s an issue which impacts upon many business sectors and we wanted to use the programme to inspire young people to find out more about careers in many different sectors ranging from healthcare, construction and engineering, many of which face recruitment difficulties.
“The student ambassadors programme we launched last year is the first part of a long term programme to give every secondary student in Barnsley the chance to participate in Made In Barnsley, and even though the programme is at a relatively early stage, there has been evidence that participation has helped to build confidence amongst pupils in the classroom as well as breaking down the perceptions about working in different careers. For example, many people at school incorrectly assume that to work in the healthcare sector you must train as a doctor or nurse to build a successful career, but in reality buildings such as hospitals and even GP surgeries require people from many different backgrounds to succeed.”
Cllr Jeff Ennis, Mayor of Barnsley said:
“Made In Barnsley is a terrific programme which helps to inspire, encourage and nurture home grown talent. I was very impressed with the high standard of work which was showcased during the event and I’d like to wish success to everyone who is taking part in the programme this year.”
The first cohort of Made In Barnsley pupils will complete their course in September 2018, meanwhile a new group of ambassadors from a number of participating schools across Barnsley is currently being recruited.