Over 50 youngsters were taking part in the SKILL! Programme, a UK-wide scheme launched in 2008 that helps young people to improve their employability skills with workshops on communication, presentation and teamwork. The Manchester programme was launched with the support of Aldermore Bank, which provided mentors for the day and £1,000 prize money to the winning team's school.
Students from four schools across Manchester attended last Friday, which saw them come up with a business pitch for a Dragons' Den-like scenario later in the day called the Tiger's Cage.
The winning idea came from a team at Manchester Academy called Mapping Culture. Their pitch was an app with cultural information about different countries to help bridge divides between young people of different nationalities living in Manchester.
Mentors from both Aldermore and business law firm DWF helped the students aged 14-16 work on their enterprise, inter-personal and creativity skills.
Commenting on the event, Labour MP for Manchester Central Lucy Powell said: "Congratulations to students at Manchester Academy on this great result. Their success in the SKILL! Programme is great to see and shows the entrepreneurial spirit of local young people in Manchester. This app is a great idea to break down barriers."
Aldermore's Regional Managing Director Nick Smith said: "The SKILL! Programme is a fantastic scheme and an excellent opportunity for youngsters to learn and develop employment skills for the future. The team at Aldermore is delighted to be helping the futures of local students and local initiatives like this show how smart and receptive our youngsters are."
Tyrone Jones, Head of Values & Corporate Responsibility at DWF, said: "At DWF, we understand how important it is to invest in the next generation of talent. The SKILL! Programme is a creative way to equip young people with the vital skills they need to make a strong impression on prospective employers, and also to help prepare them for the world of work.
"Having been involved with the SKILL! Programme in previous years, we've seen the impact that the initiative has on the young people that attend, so it's brilliant to be able to be part of it again this year."
For more details about the SKILL! Programme please find details on the website.
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