Lancashire students have been tasked with supporting communities most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic by completing a series of The Apprentice style challenges.
Schools and colleges are being encouraged to sign up for Future U’s social enterprise project, developed in partnership with the Inspirational Learning Group and Lancaster University Management School (LUMS).
Participants will work in teams to respond to the difficulties being faced by key groups within their own communities by developing concepts for new products, services or organisations. Tasks will be presented to the year 10-13 students via video tutorials on the Inspirational Learning Group’s interactive online platform, meaning teachers can host in their own classrooms.
By taking part, young people are getting an opportunity to develop key skills including problem solving, communication and time management by responding to real-world problems. They will also be able to learn more about the benefits of Higher Education and the business-related courses offered by LUMS. LUMS is ranked top ten in the UK’s major league tables and its teaching staff include practitioners and academics, ensuring that its students gain practical experience to help them understand the real world and how to do business within it.
Theo Blackburn, Future U Programme Manager, said: “We are really excited to be working with the Inspirational Learning Group and LUMS as we know that the pandemic has had a big impact on local communities and the extracurricular opportunities that students would usually have access to. We wanted to offer something relevant to allow learners to think creatively and showcase some of their entrepreneurial flair. To complete the competition, we will host a final to allow students to pitch their winning ideas.”
Ben Dyer, Co-Founder of the Inspirational Learning Group, said: “The Inspirational Learning Group are delighted to be working with LUMS and Future U on this exciting challenge. The post Covid-19 world is going to continue to be very different and the development of soft skills required for University and the world of work even more important. This challenge helps develop those skills and raise aspirations on what can be achieved.”
Since launching in 2017, Future U has held more than 800 events and activities to support over 16,000 young people to think about applying for university. The programme works alongside the county’s four universities and 10 colleges throughout Lancashire and has continued to deliver activities online during the lockdown.
In addition to promoting the benefits of university to prospective students, the programme also supports young people to understand student finance, living away from home and raising career ambitions to develop the next set of skilled workers for the county.
Future U is part of the national Uni Connect Programme, funded by the Office for Students, and continues to support school pupils across Lancashire to encourage more young people to think about higher education and future careers. The project involves institutions and organisations across the county including the University of Central Lancashire, Lancaster University, Edge Hill University and the University of Cumbria.
Lancashire’s Future U works with a network of schools, in addition to colleges, higher education providers and local agencies to create tailored activities to meet the needs of students for now and the future.
Its list of partners includes: Blackburn College, Blackpool Sixth Form College, Blackpool and the Fylde College, Burnley College, Edge Hill University, Inspira, Kendal College, Lancaster University, Myerscough College, Nelson and Colne College, Preston’s College, STEMFirst, Runshaw College, The Lancashire Colleges, University of Central Lancashire, University of Cumbria, West Lancashire College.