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Marsden Heights students receive leadership training from Pendle business

Published: Monday, 20th February 2017

Catherine Durris, Finance Director at Businesswise Solutions in Nelson gave tips on how to become leaders to students from Marsden Heights Community College

Students from Marsden Heights Community College have been given tips on how to become leaders from Pendle company Businesswise Solutions.

It’s part of a programme funded by Pendle Council which enables young people to leave school and go on to build successful working lives.

Called Pendle Business Class, the three year project is being run by charity Business in the Community (BITC), as part of its national scheme.

By linking schools with businesses, the pilot which is part-funded by the Council’s Gearing Up for Growth Fund, aims to give young people more confidence, greater motivation at school and a better understanding of the careers available.

And 19 students from years 7 to 10 from Marsden Heights received leadership training from Catherine Durris, Finance Director at Businesswise Solutions in Nelson.

She said: “The BITC project is a really good initiative and I was excited for Businesswise to get involved. 

“It gives students access to real businesses who can share their real experiences and help students relate their theoretical learning to the real business world.”

Fiona Clark from Marsden Heights Community College said: “We’re delighted to be taking part in Pendle Business Class.

“We re-launched our House system in September and want the students to take ownership of it rather than the staff.

“Those who attended the leadership training had put their names down to be part of a committee to oversee the running of the House system.

“This leadership session helped increase their confidence levels and gave them fantastic tips on how to run their own meetings and understand the different roles.”

Councillor Mohammed Iqbal, Leader of Pendle Council and Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, said: “Our local businesses have a crucial part to play in supporting young people in school and encouraging them to go on to further education or start a career.

“Young people who are involved in four or more employer engagement activities are five times less likely to become NEET (not in education, employment or training).

“It also dramatically reduces the chances of them behaving criminally and having poor physical and mental health when they’re older.”

Councillor Iqbal added that the Council has a positive relationship with all schools in the borough and where possible helps to improve outcomes for all pupils.

Paul Symes, Education Manager Lancashire for BITC, said: “Due to skills shortages, the North West particularly suffers from a high number of job vacancies in the business, science, engineering, care and administration sectors.

“Business Class is a fantastic way of making sure young people understand what local career options are available.

“It also means they will have better access to opportunities and will be able to recognise and gain the skills they need to build successful working lives.”

Business Class is working with Marsden Heights Community College and West Craven High School.

The businesses also taking part are Silentnight, Daisy, Hope Technology, Concept4 and

Notes to editors

For more information about Business in the Community or Business Class contact Katy Neep, Head of Campaigns – Education, Business in the Community on 0207 566 8688 or

About Business in the Community

Business in the Community is the Prince’s Responsible Business Network. Its members work together to tackle a wide range of issues that are essential to building a fairer society and a more sustainable future.

BITC has more than 30 years’ experience of mobilising business. It engages thousands of businesses through programmes driven by our core membership of more than 800 organisations from small enterprises to global corporations –

About Business Class

Business Class is a school-business partnership programme managed by Business in the Community (BITC). Schools identify their priorities for improvement and supported by BITC work with their business partner to achieve shared goals.

Business Class partnerships undertake activities across four areas: leadership and governance, curriculum, enterprise and employability and wider issues. Each partnership develops its own unique plan to address their particular priorities with the support and resources of BITC. Uniquely, Business Class partnerships come together to form clusters – an effective and powerful network which collaborates to increase reach and impact, develops new ideas and shares best practice and resources. The result is embedded, sustainable relationships between each business and school that allow for systematic changes to benefit young people, particularly those facing social disadvantage.

To date more than 500 partnerships have been established, engaging 1,000 businesses over 77 clusters and impacting on the lives of 195,000 young people.