Tuesday, 5 November 2013


I was in Sheffield again today working with colleagues who are managing the Cutlers 'Made in Sheffield' programme which now involves six different strands and twelve secondary schools. We are now working in advanced manufacturing and engineering, the Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, the glass industry, the retail sector, computer science and the Children's Hospital.

The different thing about the Cutlers” “Made in Sheffield” initiative is that it is sector led and has sector-led improvement at its’ core. It aims to enthuse and motivate students and their teachers by connecting learning in schools powerfully to the world of work. Our research has identified the needs of local companies and employers and places these organisations at the heart of the programme. This does not mean that we expect our children to commit to specific vocational pathways from an early age because wherever young people want to work demands flexible, creative, and entrepreneurial self-starters with high levels of numeracy, literacy and a broad base of knowledge and skills that will allow them to adapt to rapidly changing markets and new career and business opportunities. We are entering a ‘conceptual age’ and we can only secure our future prosperity as communities, cities and countries if our learning systems are capable of equipping our young people with the high level skills and abilities necessary to meet these new demands. It is not only a new generation with higher level skills that our economy will need; our young people will also require a much wider range of skills than ever before.

The programme aims to develop these essential skills through a basic plan, do, review cycle:
  • 'character skills': responsibility, adaptability, resilience, determination and confidence; 
  • 'core skills': communication, literacy, numeracy, creativity and learning to learn; 
  • experience of the world of work; and
  • academic and technical excellence. 

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