Hundreds of teachers came together to discuss ways of preparing young people for employment at the first-ever Bath Education Trust conference.
The BET Trust aims to get schools and colleges working together, with employers and the community, on issues of significance to young people.
Held at the Forum, the conference was the first event catering for staff from the eight academies signed up as members of the BET Trust.
Staff from Bath College, a BET Trust partner, also attended and the day was organised by business administration students from the college.
Students worked with Andrew Wright, from Axis Events Ltd, to manage the event from start to finish, including on the day itself.
They found a venue, secured sponsors and exhibitors, creating delegate packs and promoted the event using social media.
Pupils from the Bath Studio School were visible wearing volunteer t-shirts and helping to film the conference.
Conference speakers asked how schools and teachers can help to develop young people’s character so that they are prepared for work.
They included psychologist Barry Hymer, Rotork CEO Peter France and Mike Nicholson, Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions at the University of Bath.
Neil Carberry, Director for Employment and Skills at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), spoke about the need to equip students with life skills, as well as qualifications.
He said: “The future of our economy is bright because it’s built on the talent of young people, but we need to help them more than we do to adapt into adult life.
“The technical skills employees have are important, of course they are, but beyond that it’s the attitude and aptitude that businesses look for – resilience, team working and a bit of global awareness.
“We need to develop a shared understanding that the curriculum should be about the people we’re developing, and their ability to navigate the world, as well as the subject they know.”
After a morning at The Forum teachers visited Bath College, where they enjoyed lunch prepared by catering and hospitality students.
The afternoon was a chance for teachers to take part in workshops and network with professionals at an exhibition.
Bath College Principal Matt Atkinson said: “The directors and members of the Bath Education Trust were absolutely delighted with our first-ever conference.
“We should not underestimate just how significant it was to bring together 900 staff from all BET partner institutions to network and learn together, focusing on employability outcomes for the young people of the city and surrounding areas.
“We know that we have a unique state education sector in Bath and BET forms a crucial part of that. We are now looking forward to building on the work we began yesterday, working collaboratively for the benefit of children and young people.”
Bath College is a BET Trust partner along with Bath Spa University, the University of Bath and engineering company Rotork.
Schools signed up as members of the BET Trust include Beechen Cliff, Hayesfield, Oldfield School, Ralph Allen, St Gregory’s, St Mark’s, Three Ways School, and the Wellsway Multi Academy Trust.