Give Yourself the Edge is a programme based on the best practice that Edge saw in Nashville, Tennessee. At age 14, young people join a career academy that gives them and their teachers close contact with employers in a particular industry.
In 2015-16, Edge worked with practitioners in Nottingham to pilot the Give Yourself the Edge model.
Edge grew the network for 2016-17, working in Nottingham, Derby City and the North East to provide over 60 teachers and Career Leads with the opportunity to undertake an externship in a local business. The businesses were wide ranging covering a variety of sectors from manufacturing to construction to retail to service sector. In Nottingham and Derby they worked in partnership with British Gypsum, Capital One, Lloyds Banking Group, Nottingham City Homes, Derby Homes, the GI Group and INTU. In the North East externships were undertaken at Northumbrian Water, MGL Group, Accenture, British Engines, Campus North, and Faulkner Browns Architects. With each of the externships giving teachers a unique insight into the running of the business, the range of jobs in the organisation and how practice related to their curriculum area.
Following on from the externship students in Year 8 and Year 9 then took part in a programme of study to investigate the business from every angle, giving them a chance to understand how that company worked and the roles available. The pupils then had a chance to present to their schools and some were showcased at a celebration event hosted by the businesses involved.
Edge will be working with colleagues to develop and spread this model through 2018, with a further focus on increasing teacher’s knowledge and understanding of the world of work, to help them to bring real life examples of how their subject is used in a practical way. The programme is also designed to help schools start to address Gatsby Benchmark 4 by providing them with a framework and opportunity to link the curriculum directly to working with employers, having a positive impact on both teachers, students and the wider school community.