From education to employment

Bid to Bring More Learners and Employers Into Awards from Across Sector

A series of learner bursaries are being offered as part of the Quality Improvement Agency’s (QIA’s) STAR Awards programme this year, in an effort to increase the levels of participation and to improve the chances of learners in gaining the experience they need.

The range of learner bursary opportunities are intended to extend the reach of the STAR awards programme to new employers and learners across various new untouched areas of the sector. The new bursaries are being supported by the contributions of a number of “celebrity ambassadors”, such as Michael Caine. The programme will see Employers and the celebrity ambassadors providing work placement opportunities for students throughout England who are involved in post 16 education.

A Game of “Snap”

One such programme has been offered through the Times Education Supplement (TES), which will see one photography student given the chance to experience life at a busy picture desk. This student will be selected from the applicants on the basis of the three photographs submitted for consideration on the theme of “the learning experience”. They will also compose an explanation of 50 words explaining the relevance of their photographs to the topic.

The world of gaming is also “switching on” to the programme. The leading computer game development company in the United Kingdom, Climax, has joined the QIA STAR Awards team in offering a week long placement in their innovative design studios to the winning applicant. This applicant will have to have submitted a five hundred word answer to the question: “If you had to be a videogame character, who would you be, and why?”.

A final example can be found through the work of Michael Caine, who has joined the campaign to offer catering students a single bursary place to have a one month work experience placement in one of his Michelin ““ starred restaurants. The students will have to design a three course menu, sourcing two local suppliers and explaining in 100 words where the inspiration for their menu came from.

The STAR Awards celebrate success in a sector that needs the recognition of the hard work being done on all sides; schemes such as this can only serve to cast an ever wider net in catching the excellence of England.

Jethro Marsh

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