SCHOOLS OUT, CBD’S IN

Published on March 1, 2013.

Students from Handsworth Wood Girls School

Colmore Row firms open their doors to Handworth Wood Girls Academy

You don’t tend to see that many school-children in Colmore Business District during the course of a day but that all changed on Tuesday 29th of January when a group of girls from Handsworth Wood Girls Academy visited the area as part of a project organised by Birmingham Future.

The project, called Business Walks, is designed to introduce schoolchildren to professional services firms, to raise their career aspirations and to highlight the many different job roles and entry routes there are to employment within the district. It is organised by Birmingham Future as part of their efforts to attract and retain talent within the area and the city in general.

The girls started their day at CBD resident Davis Langdon, an AECOM company, in the wonderful Colmore Plaza where Associate Director Jo France had organised an insightful and enlightening morning of activities. Seated in the plush surroundings of the AECOM boardroom, a world away from their usual classroom, the girls were able to speak with three employees at the firm who discussed what they do, what they like about their job and how they found their way into their role before Jo delivered a practical and interactive lesson on CV writing and interview skills.

After a short walk, the next stop was leading legal practice and another CBD resident Gateley’s on Edmund Street where the host, Trainee Solicitor Jonathan Dugdale, had organised a speed careers session with a wide range of the firms employees to help the girls understand the wide variety of different roles employed within the firm. Gateley’s were also generous enough to offer the children lunch and a tour of the building before they departed for the last part of their day.

Ian Burrows, Chair of Future in the Community, part of Birmingham Future and who had organised the event said “Both AECOM and Gateley’s have been fantastic in hosting us and on behalf of the students I want to say a massive thank you for all of their efforts.” Jackie Plimmer, Head of Careers at Handsworth Wood Girls Academy added “Everyone involved was enthusiastic, passionate and extremely informative. Both staff and students benefitted greatly from the visit, the impact on the students is something that cannot be replicated in the classroom.”

The event apparently made a significant impact on one student. “Already, one of our Year 11 students who was very confused about her post 16 pathway has been able to make a firm decision about what she wants to do as a result of talking to staff during the visit” commented Jackie Plimmer after the event.

If your business is interested in getting involved in the project and hosting a small visiting delegation of schoolchildren from local schools please contact community@birminghamforward.co.uk