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Inspiring Primary School Pupils in Leeds

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We recently teamed up with the Department for Health and Social Care, enabling enterprise and volunteers from across the Civil Service to deliver a Business Trip for local primary school students in Leeds. Michelle Stevenson from the department was one of our Civil Service volunteers and she has shared her highlights of the day below:

I was amazed, recently, at what you can learn from 10 year olds in the workplace. Twenty year 5 and 6 primary school students, aged between 9 and 11 recently visited Quarry House in Leeds to learn about the Civil Service and to get them thinking about preparing for the world of work. But I sense we may have come away having learned much more.

The event was led by enabling enterprise who are a social enterprise set up by teachers. It aims to help students make the crucial link between the skills built in the classroom and the working world.

Civil Service Volunteers and Billy Pretsell from Enabling Enterprise

The students, from local schools where Quarry House is always a 'mysterious' sight from the playground, were given a challenge called Recruitment Race which involved selecting suitable candidates to fill vacancies within the department. This meant the students would need to use a number of skills including problem solving, leadership, team work, identifying skills and attributes and decision making.  There were some tough challenges that even got us adults thinking!

Students asked us about our work, what we liked about it and whether we inherited jobs through family members. They were fascinated with a live video conference link to colleagues in Burnley and with a tour of the building including people wearing headsets, the gardens and ducks, the swimming pool and the conveyor belt of food trays in the restaurant.

Students delivering their pitch to Civil Service volunteers

The highlight of the day was the students coming together in their teams to present a pitch based on the candidates they had chosen.  These students remained focused throughout and worked so quickly: 2 minutes to decide on the successful candidates and why; 5 minutes to prepare their pitch. All the students had to stand in front of the whole group and say something.  Any nervous students certainly didn’t show it and they all performed brilliantly and confidently.  What was most impressive was just how quickly the students turned things around.  I reflected how we work far too slowly in the Civil Service sometimes, from deciding what we need to do, how we need to do it and actually doing it. These students nailed it in minutes.  We could learn a lot from trying to deliver in 2 and 5 minute bursts!

If you would like to find out more about enabling enterprise or you would like to volunteer for future school outreach activities please contact Kelly Roush.

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