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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Pupils sample work skills

WEST Cumbrian pupils took part in a skills day which saw them attempt Krypton Factor meets Crystal Maze challenges.

Around 200 people attended the event at Lillyhall’s Energus building. The Skills for Enterprise event showcased the best training West Cumbria had to offer its young people and how the area’s training providers are delivering skilled young people into the workplace.

The day’s aim was to highlight the need for multi-skilled people in the local workforce. It displayed the depth of training and education the region has to offer.

It saw students from West Cumbria’s secondary schools attend along with local apprentices and undergraduates from the University of Cumbria. Organised by Britain’s Energy Coast, and supported by Britain’s Energy Coast Campus, the day saw a unique challenge set for the young people.

The E Factor, a cross between the Krypton Factor and The Crystal Maze, was a range of games which had to be completed in a set time by the students who were put into groups for the task.

Year nine students from St Joseph’s School, Workington, was one of three schools in the area to take part.

Sybil Worsley, business manager at St Joseph’s, said: “The Skills for Enterprise event was a fantastic chance for our students to get an insight into what skills they will need for the workplace. It also gave them the opportunity to hear about the training providers in the area.

“The year nines here today have been engrossed in the E Factor challenge and it’s given them chance to work both independently and as a team to complete the tasks.”

Schools which took part in the challenge include St Joseph’s, Workington, Solway Community School, and Whitehaven School. Whitehaven pupil Billy Blaston said: “It has been a great afternoon taking part in these activities, they make you think on your feet to get them completed in the set time.”

Fellow student Emma Ridled said: “The games definitely make you work together as a team to get the challenge completed quicker. Every challenge is so different so you use a new skill each time round.”

There were also contributions from businesses which shared how pro-active work with schools and colleges has helped them access the range and quality of people they need to sustain their businesses.

In hosting Skills for Enterprise, Britain’s Energy Coast aims to demonstrate that West Cumbria is open for business and has the right tools in place to help people and organisations succeed.

During the day a group of Sellafield ambassadors picked up skills awards.

The company’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) ambassadors took part in the day which saw two teams from Sellafield take on Gen II apprentices and students from the University of Cumbria. The group was awarded points for a number of challenges and managed to come out on top of the contest.

MP for Workington, Tony Cunningham, opened the event and TV journalist, Kim Ingles, acted as compere.

The students also took part in a question time type panel with Tom Gilroy, of Britain’s Energy Coast, Pete Woolaghan, of the React Foundation, and Chris Nattress, of Lakes College.

Pauline Farrell, education manager for Sellafield, said: “I was very proud of both the Sellafield teams who were extremely focused on trying to complete as many challenges as possible.

“One of our teams came third while the other team came a very respectable fourth and were gracious in defeat.

“It was great for the ambassadors to be able to take part in a fun event rather than focusing on helping students.”

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