Local School Highlighted As An Inspirational Educational Partnership

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At Thursday's panel debate at the CBI West Midlands Education and Skills Conference, North Bromsgrove High School was highlighted as an excellent practical example of where a school and company are working together to develop pupils and their skill sets to make them more attractive to potential employers.

James Sopwith, Group Sales and Marketing Director of the engineering business, adi Group, was a key speaker on the subject of “The inspiration agenda – what is the role for businesses?” During his presentation, he outlined how his company has been working with North Bromsgrove High School and Business in the Community over the last few years. This has included on-site mentoring programmes and exchange visits with pupils, as well as an adi employee becoming a governor of the school.

“At adi Group, we are committed to supporting our local community in and around Birmingham” said James. “In particular, we believe that a strong education and skills system is a vital part of securing the UK’s future economic growth and our ability to compete in the international marketplace. The West Midlands CBI calls this its Pathways to Success.

“To have a successful manufacturing and services industry, it is crucial to develop our future hands-on and skilled workforce. At adi Group, we are developing an Apprentice Academy, which in 2016 will have over 20 apprentices, covering all aspects of engineering as well as our other business areas. However it is important to start developing these core skills before pupils leave school, so that they can see a clear career path and job opportunities. That is why we have entered into a partnership with North Bromsgrove High School, which will develop over the coming years into a pre-apprentice qualification. Exciting times are ahead for school partnerships and we want to play our part in it.”

Added David Hadley-Pryce, Head Teacher, North Bromsgrove High School: "Our partnership with the adi Group, now in its third year, is critical to our development in preparing our young people for a successful future. The insight we have gained into the importance of contact with employers at an early stage of students' education is now inspiring much of our future planning and the partnership is at the core of the school's transformation.”

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