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Budding entrepreneurs switch the classroom for the boardroom

May 23, 2016 | Local News

Budding entrepreneurs took time out of the classroom to become boardroom bigwigs at a busy manufacturing company as part of a county-wide business contest.

The pupils from Dene Community School in Peterlee are taking part in a fun enterprise competition called Future Business Magnates which sees them step into the world of industry and run their own company.

And as part of the event – which sees them compete against 20 other schools – they paid a visit to their designated ‘business partner’, D&S Services, on Peterlee Business Park.

The young businessmen and women, aged twelve and thirteen, got the chance to experience working in their own business, by coming up with an innovative idea that they then had to research, develop and market.

They came up with a product called FaceSafe – an advanced smart security system that uses face-scan technology.

And as well as deciding on which members of their team would take up particular job roles, they had to:

• Explain what kind of business they had decided to set up,
• What will it do, make or sell,
• What they would need to buy or organise before starting trading,
• What the business name would be.

And experts from D&S Services – which delivers metal fabrication, engineering, and material handling, services nationally – were on hand to help throughout the process.

Amy McKenna, from D&S Services, said: “We were really impressed by the pupils – they had some great ideas!

“They came to our site and were shown around the factory given details on how production works on a day to day basis. They then had a design meeting with D&S Services design technician, Dale Johnson, where the first 3D CAD model design of their Smart Security System was created.

“It was a great experience for them and helped them to grasp what the real world of work is like, which I think stands then in great stead when the time comes for them to be looking for work.

“There are definitely some great employees among them.”

Nicki Christie, teacher at Dene Community School, added: “The competition, Future Business Magnates is a fantastic way to prepare pupils for the world of work and open their eyes to all of the different job roles and pathways that can be pursued.

“The team at D&S Services were so helpful and really helped to bring the best out in our students, not only for the competition, but also on a personal and vocational level.

“We’d like to thank them for helping us in our quest to win this title!”

Launched in 2005 by the late and much loved Sir Bobby Robson, Future Business Magnates enhances awareness of business and industry with a clear focus on enterprise skills, experience and qualifications that employers want in preparation for work.