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When it comes to preparing students for transition from classroom to workplace the talk is often of dress codes and tea making. But with work related learning now a statutory requirement at key stage 4, knowing what to wear and being willing to carry out menial tasks skims the surface of what is required. The multi-media pack Working on Enterprise follows the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority guidelines which stipulate that schools should provide opportunities for students to develop the skills needed for work.
Incorporating an A4 ringbinder with 50 photocopiable pages of factsheets, worksheets, lesson plans and project ideas, a network CD-Rom and a video casestudy, the pack allows teachers to give lessons on everything from telephone skills, health and safety, trade unions and email etiquette to the black market, venture capitalists and business angels.
The ringbinder has three sections: learning through work; learning for work; and learning about work. Each section features group and individual activities.
The relevance of curriculum subjects in the workplace is emphasised, but it is the development of key skills which is really central. For example, students have to find ways of raising money to start a business, imagine they're an independent record shop owner having to organise corporate gatherings, or increase sales of a student handbook without spending any money. A communication skills exercise doesn't just describe what these skills are but looks at self-evaluation.
There are plenty of job preparation exercises such as phone call role plays, CV writing and job applications, creating work experience diaries and developing interview skills. Along the way, there are plenty of interesting case studies (find out why EasyJet hires Formula 1 consultants), plus website listings and the occasional quiz.
The video has a case study on the resource creators Gapwork. Last year the Leeds-based company won the Sunday Express Young Entrepreneur of the Year and the company's 20-something founders provide advice on how to get the most out of work experience. While the information is useful, they missed a trick by insisting all interviewees sit behind a desk whatever their job description.
Working on Enterprise is not just about preparing students for a week of work experience. The package, which will be updated once a year, can support a whole-school approach that encompasses industry days, workplace visits, student enterprise schemes and visiting speakers.
It is a flexible resource that can be used in business, citizenship and PSHE and it provides a thorough package for careers co-ordinators and teachers responsible for work-related learning with their schools.