In March, 100 students from eight secondary schools across Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest worked together with business leaders to take on the task of promoting the Royal Docks as a world class destination.
The Year 7-9 pupils were invited to participate in an Industry Day at ExCeL London where they developed key skills necessary for the modern jobs market, as well as learning about the job opportunities in their local area, now and in the future.
Organised by London City Airport and delivered by Enabling Enterprise, the event brought together volunteers and senior business leaders from partner organisations including ExCeL London, British Airways CityFlyer; Siemens Plc, which runs the Crystal building in Royal Victoria Docks; Crossrail; the Royal Docks Management Authority (RODMA); Asian Business Parks and The Silvertown Partnership, which is creating the first purpose built brand destination in the world in Silvertown Quays.
Working alongside business volunteers, the students learned about the history of the Docks, interviewed business volunteers about their roles and took advice on what would attract other businesses to the area, before unleashing their creativity to create and pitch a brand new campaign.
Tim Campbell, winner of the first series of The Apprentice and the Mayor of London’s Ambassador for Training and Enterprise, compered the event and judged the winning branding entries. Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham and Shadow Employment Minister also addressed the school pupils and spoke about the future job opportunities being created by huge investment into the Royal Docks.
The winning teams on the day were each given a dream job prize experience with one or more of the participating businesses. A day behind the scenes with various LCY and BA CityFlyer departments; the opportunity to join the marketing team in pitching Silvertown to potential businesses; and a visit to a Crossrail site with the chance to meet engineers and project managers are just a selection of the prizes offered to the lucky 32 students.
Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport, said:
“Education and training are key to fulfilling the aspirations of young people in East London. The airport is committed to creating opportunities for local people so that they can share in the success of the business and be a part of our future growth. Since we opened 28 years ago, London City Airport has been proud to be part of the Royal Docks community with more than 60% of our workforce living within five miles of the airport. Events like this will help to ensure that we can continue to recruit talented, passionate people locally for another 28 years. By working with our partners in the Royal Docks we have created an initiative that enables school pupils to have a taste of corporate life, benefit from the expertise of local businesses and explore new ideas in a real business setting.”
Tim Campbell, the Mayor of London’s Ambassador for Training and Enterprise, said:
“Business can play an important role in exposing children and young people to the world of work, to help them make decisions about their education and their future. I commend London City Airport and the other businesses involved for stepping up and taking the lead. I very much enjoyed meeting the pupils taking part, many of whom showed great enthusiasm and creativity and will undoubtedly be an asset to East London’s future workforce.”
Stephen Timms, MP for East Ham said:
“The Royal Docks is fast becoming a world class place to do business. Companies from around the world want to call this area home. I firmly believe that students in our schools, some of whom were at the event today, are ideally placed to grasp with both hands the opportunities ahead.”