The Apprentice Day

At Rotherham College enterprise is seen as an entitlement for every learner, and many events and activities are planned throughout the year to inspire and to develop a culture of enterprise. The college aims to help learners develop enterprise skills and capabilities while providing the business support and guidance to turn their ideas into small businesses and social enterprises.

Learners had taken part in activities during Enterprise Week, and these had been followed up with workshops and further challenges and activities, culminating in the college’s ‘The Apprentice Day’.

Inspired by the hit TV show ‘The Apprentice’, the day focused on brining learners together to celebrate enterprise. It started with a business innovation challenge where learners, working in groups, had to spot business opportunities, and find alternative uses for an identified product.  Groups fed back their ideas that were, although diverse, really considered (and in some cases really humorous!).

The second half of the day provided an opportunity for groups to pitch business ideas that they had been working on to a panel of judges.

The judging panel was made up of the college’s Enterprise Champion, two students that have achieved enterprise qualifications at college, David Thomas; a college Governor and local businessman, and Jean Stewart from Rotherham Young Chamber.

We had some excellent pitches, with some really innovative business ideas, supported by well structured business plans, presentations and other materials. The student entrepreneurs communicated their ideas with real passion.

On the day, prizes were awarded for the best pitches/ ideas:

3rd was Peppermint Parlour;  a group of students from Complimentary Therapies presenting their idea for the Parlour that will be totally Vegetarian, Vegan and Eco-friendly and that offers a range of beauty treatments including holistic therapies such as Reflexology and Aromatherapy. One of their main focuses of the pitch was to have access to the referred patients from local GPs.

2nd was G-Crate. The idea was pitched by two students from BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Media.  These students designed a storage system for video games, DVDs or CDs that provides the consumer with opportunities to categorise their collections by genre or other theme of their choice, in an innovative and practical way.

The winners were from Holistic Therapies Level 3. They pitched a fantastically detailed idea to open a Beauty Parlour called ‘Heavenly Holistics’. The parlour would focus on relaxation and aromatherapy.

The winners of the best pitch on the day received Meadowhall vouchers, as well as expert business advice to help them start up their enterprise.

Rotherham Ready; Filming for DVDs

Rotherham Ready filmed at the college’s Apprentice Day, and interviewed staff and students about enterprise.

Staff and lecturers at RCAT have been sharing their experiences and practice in developing enterprise across college and the curriculum. The footage will shape into two distinct stories – one film covering the ‘Big Picture’ about why enterprise is important, and the other – ‘a view from the classroom’ (working title)  – which will focus on how practitioners develop enterprise in teaching and learning in further education.

Together they will show the why and how of enterprise in Further Education and inspire tutors and lecturers about the ‘extra’ that enterprise brings to learning.

Rotherham Ready, the children and young people’s enterprise project, training teachers and lecturers to develop a culture of enterprise in education and help learners get the enterprise skills and qualities they will need to face the challenges and opportunities of life with confidence.

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