FRESH from its glowing Ofsted report, St Aldhelm’s Academy (SAA) is taking the lead in a national initiative to connect schools and employers.
The academy, in Herbert Avenue, Poole, is the first school in the county to join The 2016 Dorset Young Chamber programme.
The scheme, which is being led by Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) with the support of the British Chambers of Commerce, is designed to help schools increase the employability of young people through partnerships with business.
As part of The Young Chamber, St Aldhelm’s pupils will have access to high quality career advice, receive help to develop the skills they will need for work and form valuable connections with local employers.
Ian Girling, chief executive of the DCCI and David McNair, its president, met Sian Thomas, executive principal of St Aldhelm’s for a tour of the academy and to discuss the programme.
Ian said, “National research by the British Chambers of Commerce reveals that 88 per cent of firms believe school leavers are not prepared for work. This is a shocking statistic and one which we want to address here in Dorset with the help of The Young Chamber.”
He continued, “I have been extremely impressed by St Aldhelm’s; its inspirational head Sian Thomas, its stunning building and its charming and polite pupils.
“The Academy has already shown its commitment to its pupils’ future success in its recent Good rating from Oftsed and this makes it an ideal forerunner for The 2016 Dorset Young Chamber.
“I am very much looking forward to working with Sian and the academy to forge valuable connections with local businesses.”
Executive principal, Sian Thomas, said, “We are committed to providing all our pupils with the best education at St Aldhelm’s and, The Dorset Young Chamber will open new and important doors to them in terms of their future careers.
“We are very excited to be the first school to come on board with the 2016 programme.”
Brian Hooper, CEO of Ambitions Academies Trust, which operates St Aldhelm’s along with primary schools, secondary schools, a special school and nursery, said, “This is an innovative scheme and we also look forward to working with the DCCI in partnership with our other academies.”
DCCI, the voice of business in Dorset, is the only chamber in the county accredited to the British Chambers of Commerce. It has about 800 members who employ more than 37,000 staff locally.
Its affiliated chambers include Weymouth and Portland, Broadstone, Dorchester, Poole, Bridport, Ferndown and Shaftesbury, with Swanage in the process of affiliating.