Brighton Aldridge Community Academy

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Year 10 Unlock Day: Bryanston Square

Year 10 Unlock Day

Monday 28 January 2019

The academy recently teamed up with London-based charity the Bryanston Square Foundation to give a group of our students a chance to take part in their Unlock Programme.  This gives young people the opportunity to meet successful individuals from many different backgrounds and discuss their interests and the careers they feel passionate about having in future.

The Foundation's Marcus Orlovsky explained "Many young people have high aspirations but have no idea how to make them a reality and so they remain pipe-dreams. For some people lack of self belief or knowing what is possible acts as a blocker to their potential – so they can get disillusioned or disengaged.  The Unlock Programme helps students aged 13 – 15 bridge these gaps by providing knowledge, skills, support, opportunities and motivation that young people need in order to succeed."

A group of Year 10 BACA students were given the chance to talk with industry professionals and influential leaders one-to-one for advice and potential careers opportunities in two sessions.  At the first, in London, they met the head of Imperial College's business "incubator", where degree students set up their own businesses; a PhD student; a leading Make-Up Artist; a former Head Chef of the Savoy; leading building designers who have worked with Google and a premiership football club; and a major technology training network. 

Among local guest speakers at the second session, held at the academy this week, were Brian Quinton (Metro Bank), Natalie Balmond (PurePotions), Simon Kimber (Create Web Design), Stephanie Howe (Brighton & Hove Albion FC), Paul Williams (Albion in the Community) and Sir Rod Aldridge OBE, founder of the Aldridge Foundation.

The students expressed how much they appreciated the opportunity to speak with the professionals and were excited with how much they had taken away from the experience.  They discussed careers interests ranging from politics to being a commercial pilot; from music to sports financing and management. 

At the end of the event Marcus Orlovsky gave his thanks to the students and the guest speakers who took part, saying;

I would like to thank each of you for giving up your valuable time and for inspiring each of the Unlock students.  The real impact of these short discussions may take some time to sink in, but all the students left the session buzzing with enthusiasm and ideas for the future.

For many, the fact that ‘real life people in business are so approachable and nice’ (their words) was, itself a revelation.

The students taking part also had to give presentations to colleagues in years 9, 10 and 11 at the academy about the experience and what they had learned. One of the students commented:

I've already received contacts for prospective apprenticeships in the future and lots of advice to work with.