EDGE EMPLOYER AWARDS: Prizes to Reward Learning Initiatives

Article excerpt

Organisations in Birmingham that enter the Birmingham Post Edge Employer Awards could be in with a chance of winning part of the pounds 460,000 total prize fund.

Birmingham based Manufacturing Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation, has entered because Director James Bentley is a strong believer in practical learning and its benefits to both young people and organisations.

James Bentley says: 'By opening young people's eyes to modern business practices, the huge range of jobs available and what people actually do at work, we can help students make an informed choice on curriculum subject choice, college and career options.'

The Birmingham Post Edge Employers Awards are searching for three organisations that provide the very best practical learning for 14 - 25 year olds. These three organisations will be automatically shortlisted for the West Midlands regional final.

The awards will honour four outstanding organisations in the region as part of a national scheme. There is pounds 20,000 up for grabs for organisations in the West Midlands to reinvest in work-related learning for young people.

Organisations will need to demonstrate how they already offer excellent learning-by-doing opportunities such as apprenticeships, work placements and traineeships, and explain their ambitions for the future.

Deadline for newspaper entries is next Friday, June 3. To enter, please complete the internet form on http://icbirmingham.icnetwork.co.uk/birminghampost/business/edge/. For further information go to www.edgeawards.co.uk, call 0800 980 3343, or email info@edgeawards.co.uk 17-year old Simon Colver, talking about his three-day work shadowing opportunity with James Bentley, said: 'The three days really opened my eyes to what kind of careers there are out there. I now realise that there are jobs where using engineering skills are only a part of the responsibility. You can be involved in selling, designing, and you might have to use language skills.

'It is very difficult to get a clear idea of what the world of industry is like. No matter how many books you read, there is nothing so helpful as to see it with your own eyes. Ihad a strong idea that manufacturing was dark and dirty, with monotonous jobs that no one really enjoyed doing. It is totally different.

The work shadowing experience was a fantastic thing to do. I broadened my knowledge of engineering, and met some really enthusiastic people, as well as getting enormous fun into the bargain. …