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20th November 2020

Inspiring the future workforce with the Education Business Partnership

Over the past couple of months, the Englefield Estate team has been working with the Education Business Partnership on their activities preparing secondary school pupils for work.

The Education Business Partnership (EBP) is a Berkshire-based charity whose mission is to inspire the future workforce, through facilitating work experience placements, mentoring and organising workshops to ensure young people are well prepared for the working world.

Each year, they work with around 9,000 young people building confidence and resilience.

As Covid-19 has impacted their ability to deliver many of their activities, the EBP has instead focussed their efforts online with a series of ‘Preparing for Work’ video conferencing sessions.

Rob Allen from our forestry department shared his experiences of training, work experience and what working in the industry is like to 174 students from across the county. It was a real taster of what working in forestry is like as he took part in the Microsoft Teams sessions live from his (safely parked and switched off) tractor cab.

“It was great to work with students who were preparing for the next stage of their professional lives,” Rob said. “I was keen to get across the importance of finding a work environment and industry that suits each individual. I find working in forestry and having a job where I can be outdoors extremely rewarding, so I hope some pupils might be inspired to consider a career in forestry too.

“I also shared some experiences on applying for jobs, honing your CV and preparing covering letters to highlight your strengths and abilities.”

Our Head Gardener Sue Broughton and Community and Education Officer Liz Mattison have also been reviewing CVs and covering letters and providing constructive feedback to GCSE students who are working on job application skills as part of the scheme.

Kate Barrow, Work Related Learning and Contracts Manager at the Education Business Partnership, said: “A big thank you to Rob and the team at Englefield Estate who have supported us to deliver our Preparing for Work Day to 174 Year 11 students. They helped in all aspects of the process from filming a “day in the life” video with Rob, to giving feedback on students’ CVs and covering letters, and then also supporting on the day by taking part in virtual live Q&A sessions.

“Rob gave some great advice to the students covering a range of topics, they now have a much better general understanding of how to apply for a job, and what skills are important, and also more specifically given them some inspiration on what a career in forestry may involve.”