News - 20 June 2014

Chance for employers to shape area’s future workforce

A pioneering new school is calling on businesses to get on board and help grow the next generation of skilled employees.

Vision Studio School will be the first of its kind in Nottinghamshire when it opens in Mansfield this September.

Studio schools offer a new type of learning environment for 14 to 19-year-olds of all abilities and aim to bridge the gap between education and employment.

Working closely with employers, they offer academic and vocational qualifications including A-Levels and GCSEs in English, maths and science along with work placements linked directly to employment opportunities in the local area.

Sponsored by West Nottinghamshire College, Vision Studio School will initially provide places for 125 students from year 10 upwards, with plans for this to increase to its capacity of 300 students by its third year of operation.

The school will specialise in engineering, transport, health and care and already has a host of employers in these sectors on board, ranging from SMEs to major public and private sector organisations.

Now, to ensure it gives students the full range of opportunities from September, the school is seeking even more businesses to lend their support – particularly those willing to provide work placements.

Other ways employers can get involved range from helping shape the curriculum, mentoring students and delivering master-classes to providing, sharing or loaning equipment or resources, and assessing students’ work.

There is no minimum or maximum time period that companies can accommodate students on work placement, with all students having a personal coach who acts as a link between the employer and the school.

Andy Campbell, principal of Vision Studio School, said: “There are many reasons for employers to get involved with the studio school and a host of benefits to their organisation.

“By forging strong links with the school, they will be able to directly-address concerns raised by many companies about the employability of young people while playing a vital role in creating the next generation of motivated and enterprising employees.”

“Furthermore, research has shown that employers working with studio schools improve their own productivity and competitiveness by gaining new skills and experience themselves, along with opportunities to reach new audiences,” added Mr Campbell.

“We hope some actually go on to employ students that they’ve worked with, which will ensure young people in their local labour market develop the skills and experience their business needs to flourish.”

Based at the college’s Chesterfield Road campus, which is currently undergoing a major refurbishment to provide state-of-the-art facilities and resources, Vision Studio School will operate year-round opening and a 9am-5pm ‘working day’ to mirror that of many workplaces.

Students in year 10 will spend one day per week on a work placement, rising to two days per week for students in year 12. Students in each year group will also complete a block work placement each July or August.

Businesses currently on board include CCM Print Management, Hall-Fast Industrial Supplies, Lindhurst Engineering, Enable Care and Home Support, Linney Print, Clipper Logistics, DB Schenker, Mansfield District Council, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Nottingham City Transport and The University of Nottingham.

Andy Campbell - principal of Vision Studio School

Employers in the engineering, transport, health and care sectors wishing to get involved should contact Mr Campbell on 01623 627191 ext. 8255 or email

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