Aspirations Academies Trust Headquarters on Newall Road was the venue for the national finals of the Aspirations Employability Diploma Awards recently.

Teams from Space Studio West London, Wykham Park Academy in Banbury, Rivers Academy, West London, Magna Academy in Poole and Park Academy, West London had all qualified for the event having won previous heats at their schools.

The Aspiration Employability Diploma scheme was devised by Aspirations Academies Trust to develop workplace skills through project work with local businesses. Employers pose real world problems for teams in each school to solve. Following stringent judging within the academies, the best projects progress to the finals.

“Employability skills are key to future success,” explains Managing Director of Aspirations Academies Trust, Steve Kenning. “Students at Aspirations academies are offered opportunities to develop skills of communication, collaboration, leadership, problem solving, project management and presentation – all essential in the workplace.”

The winning team of Dev Bhourhay, Joe Rossiter and Elliot Tackley from Park Academy had worked on a project with SCS Railways to reduce the carbon emissions associated with HS2 site works.

In a presentation during which all team members spoke without notes, the audience heard about research they’d undertaken, visiting the West Ruislip site to assess emissions sources, the conversations they’d undertaken with site workers and the alternatives they’d explored.

Sixth former, Joe, who studies Maths, Economics and Business at A level, was pleased with the way the presentation went:
“We worked on this for five weeks, collaborating with Gary Mansfield, Head of Project Improvement at SCS which oversees the compound for HS2. Our presentation really came together and we’re happy to have won against so many good projects.”

For Dev and Elliot, teamwork was the key to success:
“They say team work makes the dream work,” laughs Dev, “we’ve all been friends for a while so that made things easier.”
“We sit down, we share opinions and we listen to each other,” adds Elliot. “We value each other’s contributions.”

Ricky Singh, Head of Sixth Form at Park Academy, is proud of their success:
“We’ve had a very strong Year 12 cohort working on AED projects this term but the presentation Joe, Elliot and Dev put together stood out. We’re delighted to be bringing the trophy back to Park.”

Dr Jeffery Quaye OBE, National Director of Education and Standards for Aspirations Academies Trust led the judging: “I was delighted to witness the high quality presentation and critical thinking demonstrated in this competition. The students used the employability skills gained through their AED lessons to confidently tackle problems with innovation. These students are certainly well prepared to enter the workforce due to the strong foundation of knowledge and skills they have developed.”

Runners up were Evie Wetherell, Amie Tiller and Karolina Legacinskaite from Magna Academy in Poole.

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