On Saturday 9th April Good Business and Future Foundations hosted the first ever Excelerator Live, at Stratford Circus in London. The event was attended by young people from leading schools across London, including St Angela’s Ursuline, Christs School Richmond, Fortismere, Camden School for Girls, James Allen’s Girls School and George Greens School. We were also joined by educators and business volunteers from a range of industries, Future Foundations coaching staff and parents.

Excelerator Live was the culmination of The Excelerator Programme 2016, which has been running in 10 schools throughout this past term. The programme is designed to help school leavers find the right roles in the right company and to help employers identify and attract the right school leavers for their elite (Higher and Degree) apprenticeship programmes.

Year 12 students who joined The Excelerator Programme have been granted free access to a range of activities and resources designed to help them understand their interests, suggest potential roles, and provide training support and mentoring. They had already worked through various stages of the programme, including attending an Excelerator assembly and workshop at their school, completing psychometric testing, uploading a CV and receiving professional feedback.

The Excelerator Live event gave them the additional chance to:

  • Network with and hear from employers looking to recruit elite apprentices
  • Experience mock interviews with those employers
  • Engage in workshops to improve the way they present themselves to employers
  • Meet like-minded peers who are considering an elite apprenticeship

Students arrived suited and booted, ready for their mock interviews and immediately set about meeting one another and our business volunteers. They had a professional photograph taken for use on their Linked In profile and learnt about the importance of building a network of peer and business contacts across sectors to help them fully explore their options and access opportunities.

Following an opening plenary and icebreakers our business volunteer panel provided participants with the chance to hear first-hand from apprentices at leading companies including IBM and the London Legacy Development Corporation, professionals and Managing Directors. They each explained in turn the route they had taken to secure their role, the benefits of employment training over finding a job as a graduate and answered young people’s questions about what employers look for. One panelist revealed that as an apprentice he was in fact responsible for managing a team of graduate recruits at IBM since his experience and knowledge of the company far exceeds those of his peers!

Participants were then treated to an Interview Skills workshop, led by Future Foundations coaches Lina Akbar and Chetna Bhatt. This fast paced half hour session gave them our top 10 tips to take into their next session and consider when preparing for future interviews. From how to prepare through to responding to difficult questioning regarding your strengths and weaknesses, students were given a run-down of what employers look for and the importance of allowing your personality to shine through in interview. Each young person had a 15 minute 1:1 mock interview, giving them an opportunity to put their new skills into practice, grow their confidence and experience and receive constructive feedback from our business volunteers.

The final workshop of the afternoon was Presenting for Success, delivered by Mark Corbett, Future Foundations coach, entrepreneur and business owner. Students learned how best to pitch themselves to employers, with a focus on their body language and unique individuality.

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Excelerator Live was a great experience for the students that attended and we would like to recognise their achievement and congratulate them on their trail blazing attitude and the way they embraced every challenge and opportunity this programme has presented them with. The skills and self-confidence they have gained through the process will set them apart from their peers now and in the future and we hope they continue to find the Excelerator platform a useful tool in mapping and creating their future success.

The Live event closed with the launch of the Excelerator competition, which students can enter to win work experience placements, opportunities to shadow a CEO for the day and a host of other prizes. We look forward to welcoming Excelerator alumni to the Future Foundations office later this year and continuing to support you all to become confident, work ready and excelerated in your journey towards an incredible future!