From education to employment

Solihull College puts social enterprise into curriculum

Solihull College has become the first college in the UK to build social enterprise into the curriculum, helping students develop life skills that contribute to the local community.

The college worked in partnership with consultancy InspirEngage International to create the one-year programme. Through building relationships with local businesses and organisations such as Solihull Police, it aims to encourage students to engage with society to make them feel more confident, socially enterprising and work ready.

Melody Hossaini, chief executive of InspirEngage and a former BBC Apprentice contestant, said: “InspirEngage International view the Social Enterprise Revolution as the future of innovative education – connecting skills and enterprise to real causes in the community.

“The big difference is – for the first time, this will be built into the curriculum. We’re extremely pleased to have Solihull College signed up as the pioneers of Social Enterprise Revolution – I’ve been impressed with their commitment and vision towards creating meaningful pathways into work for their students.”

Solihull College’s construction course leaders have already interpreted InspirEngage’s ‘Startup and Stilettos’ platform to form ‘Startup and Safety Boots’, which will aim to support female construction workers in the male dominated industry.

Meanwhile, those working in animal care management are aiming to work with children with additional learning needs by introducing them to the animals on the campus.

Brenda Sheils, chief executive and principal at Solihull College, said: “Melody’s enthusiasm has proved to be infectious, and I look forward to seeing some exciting and innovative work being carried out by the college’s young people, that will make a very positive contribution to the society in which we all live.”

Natalie Thornhill


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