Opening Doors in the Black Country – Innovation in Careers Education

Led by the RSA Academies & The Black Country LEP, the launch of Opening Doors in the Black Country on Wednesday 10 July was an opportunity to celebrate innovation and success in careers education as well as to invite more businesses to join the 30 employers already involved.

About Opening Doors

The Opening Doors to Business programme provides the opportunity for new and more intensive ways of ensuring that school pupils have an increased awareness of local opportunities open to them and have meaningful encounters with local employers. A pilot joint partnership between RSA Academies and the NWEDR (North Worcestershire Economic Development and Regeneration Service) involving schools and employers in Redditch was launched in 2017. This led to the development of the online brochure in Redditch, opening the opportunity to more local schools and employers and leading to a regional award for most ‘Innovative Partnership of the Year’ from the Careers and Enterprise Company.

Building on this success the RSA Academy in Tipton has been working alongside the Black Country Skills Factory to bring Opening Doors in the Black Country to support the Career Hub Activities. Opening Door to Business in the Black Country covers four local authorities (Walsall, Sandwell, Dudley and Wolverhampton).

Launching Opening Doors to Business in the Black Country

The event saw the launch of the Opening Doors in the Black Country brochure which highlights the Black Country companies who have already opened their doors to schools offering organised visits to showcase their business and give advice on careers in their sector.

Angela Moore, Black Country Careers Hub Manager said: ‘Our Opening Doors programme is a fantastic opportunity for employers to demonstrate to young people what it means to work within a particular industry. We are currently working in partnership with 30 businesses across from factory tours to Q&As and hands-on experiences. We are encouraging more businesses to come forward to open their doors to young people from across the Black Country to ensure these insights into the world of work available to as many young people as possible.’

Colin Hopkins MBE, Executive Director RSA Academies said: ‘We are delighted to have worked in partnership with the Black Country Skills Factory to create the Opening Doors in the Black Country brochure. The content has been tried and tested with our own young people at the RSA Academies working with the Enterprise Advisers to identify and engage employers willing to get involved and give up their time. The brochure is a fantastic resource and we look forward to more young people benefiting from this kind of engagement resulting in them having a real understanding of careers across a range of businesses.’

Pupils from the RSA Academy Tipton presented on their recent Opening Doors visit when a group of young engineers currently studying GCSE Engineering or Design Technology visited Voestalpine, one of the most profitable steel companies in Europe.

‘I was able to see the links from GCSE Engineering and how the content of the course was also used in the workplace. The company also highlighted how important maths and English were, and if we were looking to apply for these jobs, that we would need to have good results. This will definitely make me work harder.’ – RSA Academy Pupil

If you’re a business who is thinking about becoming an Opening Doors business, then we would say ”do it” you will be making a difference to the lives of students across the Black Country. If you are a school please take the time to take your students on an Opening Doors visit, for us it has been a valuable, useful experience, that we will use to help us make decisions for our future.’ – RSA Academy Pupil

Opening Doors in the Black Country provides both employers and schools to demonstrate their commitment to the careers agenda and to supporting young people across the Black Country.

Opening Doors to Business Brochures

Redditch Opening Doors to Business

Black Country Opening Doors to Business

This exciting and important project has been made possible by an innovative partnership between the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, NWedR, Black Country Skills Factory, and Arvind Batra, RSA Academies Cross-Family Careers Coordinator.

If you would like to know more about RSA Academies involvement with Opening Doors in the Black Country or Redditch, please contact Arvind Batra