Students from Patchway Community College recently won a number of prizes at the RSG Bristol Young Student of the Year Awards, the culmination of a sixth month competition to up-skill and connect students with businesses was launched to tackle the rising rates of youth unemployment in the UK.
Now in its second year, the competition, which aims bridge the gap between employers and young people in Bristol, was open to 16-19 year olds and was free to enter for all state schools, colleges and academies.
Participants were tasked with creating and presenting ideas for a ground-breaking portal, which will give students access to real apprenticeships, work experience and job opportunities in the region.
The innovative portal will also act as a platform for businesses to sift through the profiles of potential young jobs seekers and is envisaged to be the next ‘Linkedin’ for students.
Teams of between two and four, from state schools, colleges and academies across the Bristol region, presented their final ideas to a panel of high-profile business professionals last month, as part of the final stage of the competition.
Best Product was a jointly awarded to Inspire, of Marlwood School, Patchway Power 4 of Patchway Community College and Victorious from St Brendan’s Sixth Form College.
Best overall team performance was also a joint award, again going to Inspire and Patchway Power 4.
Aside from announcing the overall best portal design, the finals, which were generously hosted by The Mall, Cribbs Causeway, in the Bristol Fashion Week Pavilion, also saw Artemis from Ashton Park School winning the Best Team Presentation.
Other individual awards went to Rosie Foale of Patchway Community College, was who given Best Project Manager, Kieran Grant Curtis of St Brendan’s Sixth Form College as Most Innovative Student and Connor Davies of St Katherine’s School as Most Improved Student.
Martin Marafko, from Marlwood School, winner of Best Overall Student, will use the life-changing £18,000 BPP University College scholarship to study Business.
Mike Beesely, CEO of RSG commented:
“We are extremely proud to be leading such a brilliant campaign which has an extremely serious issue at heart. As an organisation, youth unemployment is something we feel extremely strongly about. As the head of a national recruitment organisation I see every day the significant lack of commercial awareness there is in young people. Initiatives such as this directly address this issue, and the award winners demonstrate the raw, untapped talent that is directly on our door step.”
Throughout the competition, participating students have benefited from marketing master-classes, presentation master-classes and dress to impress sessions, since it started in October 2012.
Elaine Brown, competition founder and project director commented:
“We are delighted that Martin has been awarded the scholarship. He has put in an incredible amount of work. He came up with all the original ideas have been the driving force behind his team. The quality of work produced by his team has been outstanding. He was proactive, creative and well-spoken and an excellent communicator. He is beyond his years in terms of his professional demeanour.”
Originally launched as a pilot scheme for Bristol, the competition plans to roll out across the UK.
Photo (L-R): Team Inspire from Marlwood School, Founder of the competition Elaine Brown, winner Martin Marafko, Mike Beesely CEO of RSG and Patchway Power 4 of Patchway Community College.