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Wates Construction

Latest Update: Wates Business Symposium – 22nd November 2013

We were delighted to host the Wates Business Symposium, where chief executive Paul Drechsler (see photo below) joined business-led charity Business in the Community to showcase the Business Class initative and share best practice in business-education collaboration.  A national champion of the Business Class programme, Wates is now in its second year of collaboration with The Hazeley Academy.  During our partnership students have benefitted from monthly mentoring sessions and literacy workshops with Adissa, an inspirational poet, and have supported literacy in year 7 and 8 by providing all students with their own dictionary. Wates have also funded enterprise money for students to raise money for future dictionaries.

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Speaking at the Symposuim : Kobe, Saif and his mother, Vicky Priestley (Assistant Principal partnerships) Paul Dreschler  (CEO Wates), Faye Ramsson (BITC Education Director), Cameron and Pacey

During the symposium Hazeley students showcased work from our literacy workshop and the  mentoring program.  We heard from the winners of the poetry completion with Adissa, and then listened to the inspirational poet Adissa himself. (see photo below)

Wates Symposium 2.jpg  Wates Symposium 3.jpgSpeaking at the symposium: Adissa, Elisa, Paa, Jeffrey and Grace

We then had a presentation from Norma and Joe two of our business mentors, Saif and his mother, Pacey, Cameron and Kobe, our students in year 10 that have been mentored by Wates staff (see photos below).  The students’ presentation showed how much the mentoring has meant to them, how they have grown in confidence and determination to have a bright future and then Saif’s mother shared her view from home.  It was really moving to listen to the difference the mentoring is making to students and their aspirations.

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Speaking at the symposium: Wates mentors, Norma and Joe with Kobe, Saif, Cameron and Pacey

Students from year 10 and 12 then took part in discussions with delegates of the symposium. Feedback has helped us plan for future partnership events.

Speaking in the symposium, Mr Drechsler, who chairs the BITC Education Leadership Team, said: ” Supporting education and investing in the vocational skills of tomorrow’s workforce is a duty of all businesses across the country and through the work done by Business in the Community and its Business Class programme, we are presented with an extremely valuable means to fulfil some of this responsibility.”

Wates is one of five National Champions of Business Class and was highly commended in this year’s Education Category at BiTC’s Responsible Business Awards.

“They have made a huge contribution to the development of the programme,” said BITC education director Faye Ramsson. “There is a deep organisation-wide commitment to making a real difference to young people’s lives.”

The Hazeley Academy Principal Mark Bennison said: “Our recently published five year strategic vision talks of going beyond the outstanding academic results that we already achieve. We speak to a vision of young people leaving the academy with a gripping confidence, a level of creativity that borders on the entrepreneurial and above all possessing a level of social literacy and a set of values that defines real character. Everything so far regarding our work with Wates plays to and enriches this vision. Business in the Community is no ordinary programme – it is exceptional and has real impact.”

Vicky Priestley, Hazeley’s Assistant Principal, Partnerships, added “Working with Wates as a business partner is having real impact in raising aspirations and confidence of our students that are mentored and we are looking forward to expanding the mentoring in the new term.”

Mock Interviews and trip to Wolverton, November 2013

Students that are mentored had an interview following writing their CV’s.  Feedback was very helpful and helped students realise that the CV and then that how you present yourself during an interview is very important.  All students learnt from the experience.  Students then had a 1 day work experience placement in Wolverton with Wates.  Feedback was very positive.

Trip to Luton, 31st January 2013

A number of Year 9 students have been working on a mini-project with Wates Construction, focusing on raising aspirations, careers education and employability skills.  Students visited a partially built youth club in the middle of Luton, opposite the Arndale Centre, which is currently nearing the end of its construction.  Students spent time listening to the owner speak about the aim of the project and benefits to the local community, as well as hearing about careers in the construction industry, such as planners, architects and engineers.  They listened to two planners talking about their own personal journey into employment; how they go into it and what skills and qualifications they needed to achieve.  After this we toured the site and were amazed with the detail in planning and mathematical skills involved in the whole construction.

Our students were fantastic ambassadors and really connected with the Wates employees and listened attentively to what the adults had to say.  The students who attended were Marcel Burrows, Julian Chukwulozie, Pacey Cracknell, Sam Ellis, Cameron Gordon, Djamel Hassan, Sam McCann, Kobe Pennant, Saif Rajput, Shaun Slade and Liam Wheeldon. Please click here to see some photos of the day.

During Period 1 on Thursday 14th February 2013, employees from Wates Construction came in for a 30 minute mentoring session with each student – discussing aspirations, attendance, progress at the Academy, etc.

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Selected students in Year 9 met their mentor from Wates Construction on Thursday 22nd November 2012 for the first time.  Employees from Wates Construction are giving up their time and working with some of our students to develop employability skills, raise aspirations and advise on careers and the future.  Often, speaking and listening to adults that are not teachers can have a real impact and we are delighted to be working in partnership with Wates Construction.

Click here to see some photos from these initial meetings.

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 We have entered a partnership with Wates Construction to support learning and enrich opportunities for The Hazeley students.  Wates are closely connected with eduction and Paul Drechsler (Chairman and Chief Executive of Wates) is also chairman of the Business in the Community (BITC) Education Leadership Team.

Plans are in place to support learning across the curriculum, careers advice and to developing employability skills with some of our students.  We have some exciting plans in place over the next academic year including:

  • Friday 21st September 2012 – Community Day:
  • A number of their employees came to The Hazeley as part of a Community Day and helped us, together with some of our own students, to overhaul our allotment area.  The work completed was staggering.
  • Students will now begin planning designing a sensory/peaceful area with help from architects and landscape gardeners from Wates.
  • Mentoring of GCSE students and developing employability skills.