Academy for Dragons

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A CHARITY plans to apply to the government to set up an academy for entrepreneurs.

And WorldShapers, based in Woodhall Farm, Hemel Hempstead, is calling on businesses to help prove there is a need for more workplace-ready young people.

“We need as many businesses as possible to tell us that this kind of academy is needed in this area,” said Arno Andreasen, of the Christian organisation.

“We have been asked to submit a bid by February 24 with as much support as we can find.”

If successful in its bid for academy status, WorldShapers should know by the summer and plans can begin to get the new Studio School open somewhere in Hemel Hempstead by the start of the 2013 academic year..

WorldShapers already runs children’s centres in Dacorum and bids for public sector contracts. It manages the Community Centre in Datchet Close where it is based.

The Business and Enterprise Academy would be government funded and provide for 240 children aged 14 to 19. It would focus on making everything taught have relevance to real life.

And crucially, young people would spend two days a week working as trainees for at least one year in local companies.

This wouldn’t be work experience but would instead involve a commitment. This, WorldShapers argue, will have benefits of reduced recruitment costs and add to business productivity.

Even while studying school subjects students would work standard 9am to 5pm office hours to get them used to the world of work.

The Studio School concept would run for at least twice as many hours as in a normal school.

Teacher and WorldShapers business development officer Les Acton said it would allow slower learners the chance to catch up with normal curriculum subjects while giving the bright sparks the opportunity to forge ahead.

Classes of not more than 20 pupils would also have their own personal coaches who would teach the softer subjects like interview skills that many employers now say children are lacking.

But the academy would also teach every pupil about entrepreneurial skills and encourage self-employment, too.

But at the moment the charity is asking businesses for no more than a commitment to fill in an online form or send a letter outlining a local need for young people to gain the kind of business world skills that many organisations say needs improving.

If successful, businesses would be asked to help design courses to give young people the skills needed in the world of work. These may include interpersonal skills, punctuality, reading and writing.

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