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Inspiring Children through Employment is “an ICE” idea
Friday 7th May, 2010

Inspiring Children through Employment is “an ICE” idea
Some of the 10,000 costumes in the Pleasure Beach's 'Stageworks' collection

10 lucky pupils from 5 local primary schools have been pitching business ideas to bosses at Blackpool Pleasure beach.

The year 5 pupils have been trailblazing a brand new project called ‘ICE’ – Inspiring Children through Employment - which challenged them to produce a new item of merchandising, a new ride and new costumes for the Hot Ice show at the Pleasure Beach.

The youngsters are from Platt Bridge Community Primary School, St Catharine's CE Primary School in Scholes, Ince CE Primary School, Westfield Community School and Britannia Bridge Primary School.

The story began when the Kingsbridge Education Improvement Partnership approached the team at the Wigan Education Business Partnership (EBP) late last year with ideas to raise the aspirations of young people through the world of work.

The council’s education business links co-ordinator Kathryn Platt explains: “The EBP worked hard to find an employer who was brave enough to commit to a project spanning 10 weeks and allow 10 children to infiltrate their business! That brave employer was Blackpool Pleasure Beach and specifically its Education Officer, Alison Patterson. “

The children worked on the project every Wednesday from January, with the pupils looking at different areas of Pleasure Beach business linked to the diploma lines, including retail, construction, media and catering. Each area of study included a visit to the ‘back of house’ areas, tours of the park, meeting the different teams and a real business challenge.

“We’ve really helped raise their expectations and watched the young people grow in confidence,” says Kathryn.

The youngsters were challenged to come up with a new item for merchandising, design a new ride, a costume for the hot ice show and a new ‘pick & mix’ lunch menu for schools together with interior design ideas for a lunch area especially for visiting school groups.

And as if all of this wasn’t enough, they have to present their business ideas not only to their headteachers and parents but also to the Directors of the Pleasure Beach themselves.

Kathryn adds: “As a result of the project, one pupil has decided she would love to work making costumes and flamboyant headdresses, another has decided she would like to be an engineer, and one has been inspired to become a sound and lighting engineer. Not bad aspirations for a few days’ work!”

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