Community Apprentice Winners for the second year running!

Thursday 13 December 2018

Loosely based on the TV series, The Apprentice, Community-Apprentice is an inter-school competition which requires young people to develop, and crucially demonstrate, the competencies most valued by employers. The crucial difference is in the aim of the projects – the students need to make a difference to their community rather than gain profit for themselves. Alongside showcasing key skills such as teamwork, time management and presentation skills, the community apprentice competition also looks for traits such as empathy, communication, resilience and problem solving.

What does the competition consist of?

  • The Film Challenge requires pupils to work as a team to communicate why the issue they have chosen matters. They must do it in under two minutes in a single take.
  • The Pitch Challenge requires them to prepare a project plan and pitch to a panel of judges made up of senior representatives drawn from local companies and government in a bid to win funding.
  • The Boardroom Challenge takes places after teams have finished their projects. It requires teams to present the difference they have made to their coaches to evidence the competencies they have developed. To help prepare students for this challenge, reflection is embedded in the programme.

A group of Year 10 Ark Boulton students were chosen to participate in the competition. Firstly, they had to select a cause which they would raise money for and which would give back to the community. Ark Boulton students selected the charity Midland Freewheelers.

Midland Freewheelers provide a free emergency out of hour’s blood and medical essentials delivery service to NHS facilities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. They also work with the Birmingham Women’s Hospital by carrying breast milk to sick and at risk premature babies. The charity is staffed entirely by volunteers who give up their own personal time to ride bikes, drive cars, fundraise and coordinate the deliveries.

One of our students had personally received helped from the Midland Freewheelers in the past and so alongside the amazing work the charity does, this was another great reason to select the cause.

The team name for Boulton was inspired by the charity – The Boulton Three-wheelers, and was an excellent cause to enable us to showcase our academy virtues and traits the competition looked for such as resilience, compassion and charity.

The team went through a number of coaching sessions and workshops with staff from the envision group to help develop their ideas and ultimately raise awareness and money for the charity. Students delivered assemblies to the whole academy to inform what the charity does, with support from the Midlands Freewheelers volunteers.

Fundraising events were held at the NEC – a great location to target heavy footfall with the general public and businesses alike. Students spoke to the public about their fundraising and why the work the charity does is so crucial. They sold cakes and refreshments to raise funds. All money raised was kindly doubled in number by the NEC and donated to the Midland Freewheelers.

The Boardroom Challenge was the last event in the competition. This was a chance to really ‘sell’ what the students had achieved in the past three months. Members on the judging panel included professionals from the Aston Business School, (where the event was held), students from the other six schools who took part in the competition, representatives from all charities, and the envision group.

The presentation gave students the opportunity to present all the setbacks and achievements that they experienced throughout their journey with Envision. The presentation showcased the unique qualities, determination, commitment and desire to make a difference to the community.

After three months of hard work, the Community-Apprentice competition in Birmingham reached its end on 12th December with the announcement of the winning team The Boulton Three-wheelers! We were chosen as the winning team for going above and beyond to promote and raise awareness for an extremely worthy cause which goes above and beyond for the wider community. This our second year as champions of the community apprentice competition!

“The students were brilliant throughout the competition and have developed their skills in so many ways. The Midland Freewheelers were so proud of their achievements. Well done to you all.” Miss Saddique, Student Support Leader.

“Envision was by far the best experience that I’ve ever had. I’ve made new friends, overcome different challenges and developed personal skills that would be useful to transfer to the professional working world.” Areeba, Member of The Boulton Three-Wheelers Team.  

“We are very proud of all our students who took part in this amazing charitable cause.” Mrs Rowe, Student Support Leader.

" I hope all of the Boulton Three-wheelers are super proud of what they achieved, not only in the final, but throughout this whole process. It's been so lovely getting to know them!" Katie Booth, Envision Coach.