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Business mentors help students tackle real-life problems

On Tuesday 7 November a group of twenty-one Year 12 students from St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School took part in their first business mentoring session of Envision’s Community-Apprentice competition with their partner business; legal firm Clarke Willmott.

The mentors generously agreed to support the students at key points in the ten-month programme, which, like the TV series The Apprentice, requires students to demonstrate personal qualities whilst working in teams to manage their own projects. In this case, however, the students will be competing to see who can make the biggest positive impact on their community, rather than the most profit.


Envision Workshop 1

Tackling real-life problems
The programme, which has recently been recognised by the Department of Education as an effective model for employer engagement, inspires students to develop their employability skills while tackling real-life problems.

Students can tackle whatever issues matter most to them, but they have to reach consensus within their team about what that is. Team X have decided to tackle discrimination in its many forms and Team HomeLESSness want to address increasing levels of homelessness within Bristol.  Business Mentor Orla Thompson, said


It was really enjoyable, interesting and rewarding being a part of this. I was amazed at how many ideas the Year 12s came up with and I can’t wait to get involved at the next session and see how much they’ve progressed.

 Envision Workshop 2


Developing employability skills
The competition requires students to develop, and crucially evidence, three key skills; creativity, teamwork, and communication. In the first mentoring session, mentors supported students to develop their creative thinking skills by adapting ideas from existing adverts and campaigns.

Throughout the Community-Apprentice competition, teams take part in inter-school challenges. The first of these, the Film Challenge, develops team-working and communication skills by challenging teams to produce a film of no more than two minutes explaining why their issue matters in a single take!  This is a demanding challenge for individuals who are still coming together as a team.


Here are our two teams’ entries: 

Team X and HomeLESSness




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