Entrepreneurs inspire Ron Dearing UTC students to bring business ideas to life

November 20th, 2018

Students from Hull’s employer-led school have begun developing their own business ideas inspired by some of the city’s leading entrepreneurs.

Every student in Year 12 at Ron Dearing University Technical College (UTC) is taking part in an extensive employability skills project run in partnership with the For Entrepreneurs Only (FEO) group of business owners who run companies in the region with a combined turnover of £3.2bn and employing 22,000 people.

The project has been facilitated by Ron Dearing UTC Major Partner Arco, the UK’s leading safety company, which plays a leading role in FEO, and was launched during a half day of sessions aimed at equipping the students with the knowledge and skills to bring their ideas to life.

Thomas Martin, Chair of Hull-based Arco and Chair of FEO’s Next Generation Group, introduced a series of sessions focused on key areas such as attitude, people, money and marketing and

He told the students: “This is a day that could change your life. It has changed the lives of other students we have delivered programmes to, because it has led them to understand they can pursue different career options.

“There could be some of you here today who think ‘I might fancy starting my own business’. It’s not up to us or your teachers whether it changes your life, it’s totally up to you. You can choose how important this day is to you.”

The students also heard the inspirational story of one FEO member, Danny Johnson, a former professional footballer who is now General Manager of the Hull City Ladies’ football team.

FEO member Danny Johnson passes on tips to students during the employability skills project launch event. Pictures: Kevin Greene Photography.

Danny told the students, aged 16 and 17, about his journey from growing up on Hull’s Orchard Park estate to defying the doubters to become a professional player in Ireland, launching his own soccer school and now leading Hull’s ladies football team as it climbs the ladder in the women’s game.

He told the students to believe they can achieve their ambitions and urged them: “Have a vision, dream big, stay focused, take risks, ask for help, surround yourself with good people and just do it!”

Year 12 students are bringing their business ideas to life inspired by members of Hull’s For Entrepreneurs Only group. Pictures: Kevin Greene Photography.

The Ron Dearing UTC students will develop their business ideas working in “scrums” using agile project management techniques employed by many leading businesses. The programme will culminate with presentations to “Dragons Den”-style panels of FEO members and Ron Dearing UTC employer partners on December 18.

Sam Caley, Ron Dearing UTC’s Joint Head of Sixth Form, said: “Programmes like this add another dimension to our curriculum.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the students to learn from business owners and helps them to develop a range of skills, such as communication, teamwork and project management, which, of course, makes them more employable.

“It might also inspire some of the students to want to launch their own businesses. Hopefully, at some time in the future, one or two of these students will return to the school as successful business people to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Mr Martin added: “It was a game-changer to be able to bring business leaders to a school that means business.

“The students are now using Ron Dearing UTC’s unique facilities to turn their business concepts into fully-fledged presentations and embedding commercial and employability skills alongside the core curriculum.

“We’re looking forward to the results of the students’ work and expecting to hear some brilliant ideas.”

Arco Chairman Thomas Martin speaks to Ron Dearing UTC students at the launch of the employability skills project with the For Entrepreneurs Only group of business owners. Pictures: Kevin Greene Photography.

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