News & Events

568 students benefit from enterprise workshops

Masterclass west of england

Our BLF scheme in West of England region in 2016-17, saw 568 students take part in 10 workshops at five different academies. They were supported by 97 volunteers from local businesses including Aviva, Bishop Fleming, Bristol City Council, DWP, Ernst Young, FSB, GKN, Grant Thornton, Monsanto, Natwest, RBS and other business owners and entrepreneurs, who covered 118 slots and brought the sessions alive for the students.

Feedback and results

Student evaluation shows a 15% overall lift in their self-perception of their skills, a positive or neutral lift for every factor in every school, and an amazing 26% improvement in the students’ view of their work readiness at the end of the two sessions.

Volunteer evaluation showed of the 64% of volunteers who responded to a follow up survey, 91% enjoyed taking part, 78% felt they learnt something too, 93% would do it again and 97% felt it was well led and organised by YE. 61% felt that the students learnt from the event.

“Can’t thank you and your volunteers enough, they were fantastic.”

“I just wanted to say how impressed I was with your organisation of the Y9 Enterprise event this morning. The hall was heaving with students and it was wonderful to see every single one of them, including our PIP children, get up and present their ideas with such creativity and confidence.

“I know that for something to run so smoothly takes a massive amount of organisation and co-ordination so thank you for a super event!” 

“Can I just say a big thank you?  I think it was the best outside agency/event thing that I’ve ever seen in the school.  For once, they actually thought about their audience and delivery to children; hence why the children were engaged and enjoyed it so much. Hope they come back next year”

“Thank you for all your hard work and organisation. It is always fantastic for students to have these alternative opportunities when they are as productive, fun and engaging as your tasks have been. Many thanks for all of your hard work from the e-mails to running the day!”

Summary of the workshops offered

  • Employability Skills

This is a practical workshop in preparing for the world of work. It helps students to consider the skills and personal qualities employers value and how to evidence these skills. Local employers and employees mentor the students during the workshop and share their own experiences as recruiters and job hunters. Through practical, hands-on activities the workshop explores themes such as personal branding, employability skills, evidencing skills using life experiences, CVs, covering letters, preparing for interview and high growth career sectors.

  • Learn to Earn (a career planning workshop)

This workshop inspires students and provides information on career options to help make informed choices. Students set goals and plan their next steps to prepare them for life beyond education. Through hands-on fun, practical activities, Learn to Earn explores themes such as career choices, personal skills and talents, recruitment and job interviews, salaries, earnings, tax and the costs of living, financial planning and budgeting.

  • Small Business Challenge

From accounting firms to IT specialists, hair salons to decorators – Small Business Challenge helps students consider the types of roles available within small companies and provide an insight into how real business works and the decisions which need to be made. This fast-paced, activity-based enterprise challenge will provide an introduction to employability skills and the opportunity for students to reflect on their own self development. During the day students develop a small business idea, considering a range of business decisions before eventually pitching to a would-be investor for funding.

  • Launchpad

Through a series of hands on, fun activities the students will work through a number of sessions where they will learn the importance of teamwork, creating brand identity and marketing strategies. As they work on the early stages of launching a fledgling business they will have the opportunity to come up with that all important business idea. Although similar to Small Business Challenge, students start with a blank sheet of paper so they can push their creativity to the limit and focus on whatever market/product school agrees to enter


All four workshops:

  • Are active, participative, fun and practical so engage a very broad range of students
  • Contribute evidence towards Ofsted judgments on personal development, behaviour and welfare by preparing students for the next stage of their education, training or employment
  • Contribute as an integral part of a stable careers programme and provide evidence towards the Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Careers Guidance
  • Encourage students to consider a broader and more ambitious range of education and career options
  • Provide inspiration and raises aspirations through encounters with employers and employees
  • Develop vital employability skills including: communication, confidence, organisation, initiative, problem solving and resilience

To register your interest in hosting workshops for your school or to be a volunteer please email