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Our News

9 March 2012

EVS learners are cereal entrepreneurs

Entry to Vocational Studies (EVS) learners at Cardiff and Vale College have taken part in an apprentice-style enterprise event, to design their own cereal, and also played host to thirty-five young people currently classed as not in education, employment or training ‘NEET’ to inspire them back into education. The event was part-funded by NIACE Dysgu Cymru as part of their ‘Taking Control Campaign.’  

The EVS learners, who are former disengaged young people previously classed as NEET, were set an entrepreneurial challenge by Lee Sharma, the Enterprise Education Manager at Cardiff and Vale College. They had to design their own cereal, logo, brand and packaging and pitch their ideas to the group in an apprentice-style manner.

After researching the current cereal market, the learners ploughed into their task to create their new products, coming up with cereals such as ‘Holly Oats’ and ‘Cashooo’s’. Lee Sharma, Enterprise Education Manager, said: “It was great to see the Entry to Vocational Studies learners engaging in a range of interactive business challenges to stimulate their creativity and employability skills. These included ideas generation, problem solving, decision-making and teamwork. I’m a strong believer in developing self-belief and skills in equal measures – this Apprentice-style challenge was no different and showed the high-standard that these learners can achieve with the right support and in the right environment.”

The EVS learners then played host to thirty-five young people who are currently not in education, employment or training, commonly known as NEETs, after they were directed to Cardiff and Vale College through the Leaving Care Team and Social Workers, the Careers Wales Youth Gateway programme and the Learning Coaches.

The young NEETs came to the event at the College’s Parade Hall, Cardiff, to gain a taste of the award-winning Entry to Vocational Studies course the College has been running since 2010. The event made it possible for these young people to gain an insight into what it’s like to return to education by meeting learners who are currently on the EVS programme, seeing their work on display and having presentations on what the programme encompasses.

The EVS programme, which has won a prestigious Beacon Award for Overcoming Deprivation, was designed in partnership with Social Services and Careers Wales to provide the opportunity for young people from deprived backgrounds to develop their basic and vocational skills. It is tailored to meet the needs of the learners and provides a variety of opportunities for learners to gain work experience and gain employability skills with the College’s partners including; Morrison Supermarkets PLC, The Celtic Manor Hotel and Resort and WE DOWDS Shipping. These opportunities raise the aspirations and confidence levels of the learners so they can progress onto further study or employment.

Denise Olander, Head of Social Engagement and Community Collaboration at Cardiff and Vale College said: “It was a fantastic opportunity to engage young people who are currently not in education, employment or training with learners on the Entry to Vocational Studies course who were previously classed as NEET.”