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Sixth Form Hungry For Success

Solway Foods, a major employer, has thrown open its doors to the students giving them the chance to work closely with every department within the organisation.

This unique project was launched in Corby Business Academy on 23rd January when students discovered they were to be given the opportunity to work on real problems with real outcomes alongside experienced personnel from Solway.  Over the next ten weeks, groups of students will be working on a variety of activities which will culminate in a presentation of their findings.

Solway Foods, part of the Northern Foods Group, which employs more than 500 people in Corby and has an annual turnover in excess of £100m, was extremely keen to link with the Business Academy.

The link will allow the students to draw on the particular expertise of their specialist personnel to widen their skills and understanding of the work place.

The launch began with a teambuilding session lead by Anjana Rajani, Director of Power to Progress.  This allowed students to discover their own strengths and weaknesses, which will enable them to allocate job roles and responsibilities within their group. In a ‘Meet their Mentor’ session they posed questions, discovered how the company operates and found out about the wide range of careers and jobs available, plus the important role each mentor has within the business.

Northamptonshire’s Education Business Links Organisation (EBLO) which formulated the project, has been working closely with Solway and Corby Business Academy.

Julie Thompson, Work Related Learning and Enterprise Advisor at EBLO, said: “This is an exceptional opportunity for the students to see first hand what is involved in running a business of this size. This will enable students to discover the variety of jobs and careers within Solway, plus give the students first hand experiences and generic skills which will help them either enter the world or work, or enhance their UCAS applications or CV’s.”

Dr Andrew Campbell, welcomed the opportunity for the Academy to be involved with a major employer in Corby. He said: “We are very grateful to be given the opportunity to work with Solway, the enrichment project will enhance the students’ knowledge and understanding of the subjects they are studying”

Students will be mentored over the project as they attempt to create a new self-contained ‘Ready Meal’.  They will investigate consumer preferences, allergies, calorific values, packaging and design, marketing and sales, selection and recruitment, and the impact on the environment of expansion and transportation.

Laura Sharp, of the human resources department at Solway, said:  “We are very happy to help these students develop their enterprise and employability skills.
“I would encourage any employers to directly share their experiences with students, it is one of the best ways to inspire young minds and get them interested and involved”. 

Avril Bartley-Smith, Vice Principal at Corby Business Academy said: “This enrichment project is an exciting opportunity for students to see the real relevance of their studies in the modern workplace and a chance to learn skills that they can apply in the future”.

Avril Bartley-Smith - Vice Principal Sixth Form