School Engagement Programme


Inspiring a practical education for young people in IT enterprise & enterpreneurship

The Challenge:

Taking an idea from concept to creation & celebrating it

Widening Student's View of the World of Work

It’s proven that employer interactions with young people in school have a beneficial impact on students’ career ambitions 

The Drawing the Future report published in 2018 by the charity ‘Education and Employers, revealed that the difference between children’s career aspirations from age seven to 17 are marginal. 

It concluded that the skills mismatch observed in the labour market has its roots in primary school, and that giving all children, regardless of gender and social background, the same chance to meet professionals in a variety of fields is the key to widening their view of the world of work. 

Of the 20,000 primary school children that were asked to draw the job they wanted to do when they grow up, the findings included: 

-The patterns of jobs chosen by seven-year-olds mirror those selected by 17-year olds 

-There is a need for greater access to career role models from a young age 

-Children’s career aspirations have little in common with projected workforce needs, which could have serious implications for the UK’s economy.

Encounters with employers bring the world of work to life for young people. Research from the Careers and Enterprise Company also shows that a young person who has four or more encounters with an employer is 86% less likely to be unemployed or not in education or training and can earn up to 18% more during their career. 

Our App-prentice Challenge is a practically applied activity that helps to prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work. 

Partners we're currently working with:

The App-Prentice Challenge Provides an Engaging Learning Experience

What the students said

“i think the programme is beneficial for the people who are looking to step into the business world and gain a profession in the industry and it will give us a head start other people our age it also taught me even more leadership skills”

“From the program i feel as if i have gained many new skills. Some of these skills i have gained are… the confidence to control a team of 9 people, the ability to make decisions that affect not only myself but others in my group, how the business world works with all the different job roles and aspects. I feel like the skills i have learnt will help me with my future career as i would like to have a job in management.”

“This programme has taught me how to work in team successfully and how to market products and do productive research about marketing products.”

0 %

were positive that the App-Prentice Challenge had helped them make decisions about their next steps in terms of education, training or work.

0 %

said they would recommend that other schools do the 3-day App-Prentice Challenge

0 %

said they would like to be contacted about career opportunities with the local business partners facilitating the App-Prentice Challenge.

Benefits for the Students

  • A hands-on practical experience that is also a learning experience with academic, social and career benefits for the long term.
  • An engaging and fun experience, that takes place in a different learning environment to normal and relies on students' interaction with the task and each other
  • It gives students the freedom to conceive, design, market, develop and present/”sell” their app whatever way they choose
  • It is a teamwork exercise that gets students interacting with people they don’t normally work with
  • It gives students the opportunity to use new tech, tools, ideas and skills they might not otherwise have access to
  • It is a competition with their peers
  • The reward for their effort carries a long-term legacy with their peers, the school and the outside business partners. This includes the tangible incentive of delivering a functional app that is used in the school in future and a unique insight into business that also offers potential career opportunities from direct access to an influential range of local education partners

Looking after our future


Benefits for the School

  • This event provides a means of putting the students’ critical thinking, time-management and collaboration skills to the test as they negotiate the business requirements for marketing, designing and developing an app. 
  • Giving students a real-life insight into how businesses operate in a supported environment that their peers are part of.​
  • A challenge that helps the school to build on core competencies that the students need for further education and business; opening students’ eyes to different career avenues and opportunities.
  • The school benefits from a working app that has been devised and built by their students.
  • In keeping with the school curriculum but adopting a different approach to business studies where students are encouraged to use creative skills alongside modern tech and adapt to new tools, environments and people that they otherwise wouldn’t experience with support from real-life business specialists.
  • A unique opportunity to invest in the future of the school’s young people, where valuable relationships with outside businesses are established for the long-term.


Andria Hanham

Principal at The Mandeville School

“This enriching learning experience has been a great end to the school year. The school is very proud of our Year 10s who have responded well to an inspiring event.


We expect our students to continue to work with our local business partners and for our school to also benefit from the new revision app that has been researched, embraced and built by our very own accomplished Year 10 entrepreneurs.”

Chris Penson

PSHCE, Careers, and Critical Thinking Coordinator at The Mandeville School

“This has been a fantastic experience for our students. As the first Year 10 Enterprise event, this pilot has proven how worthwhile it will be to do again.


“We’ve seen students engaging with their work in new ways as they’ve absorbed themselves in the project over the last three days. They’ve clearly enjoyed themselves whilst also pushing themselves academically and practically to take on the challenge and compete with their peers. It was great to see how empowering the technology and insights from the business partners have been for our students.”

Benefits for Partners & Employers

  • Building tomorrow’s workforce by giving students real-life insight into how businesses operate; where the students experience first-hand, how teamwork, flexibility and working to deadlines are critical to success.
  • A hands-on introduction to the IT industry that uncovers students with a competency for digital solutions
  • An investment that gives all young people involved the opportunity to ensure they’re equipped for the digital workplace
  • A practical solution for us to engage and encourage our next generation of IT, marketing, design, development and project management entrepreneurs.


David Hall

Managing Director of Cloudy Group 

“CloudyGroup is thrilled to be the driving force behind this project. Working with young people is something we’re incredibly passionate about. It’s great to have this opportunity to encourage them to use their creative skills alongside modern tech.”

Mark Vanstone

Director of Technovisual Education

“As young people prepare themselves to work in business these days, they need to be more well versed in how those businesses operate and the technology they will be using. Technovisual Education is proud to be part of a project that helps give these students a real insight in to how to use those skills.”

Jackie Campbell

Skills Development Manager at Bucks & Thames Valley Local Enterprise Partnership

“Employer engagement in developing enterprising challenges like this is invaluable, and this fantastic programme promises to encourage student’s creative thinking and entrepreneurship skills whilst also giving them a valuable, practical view of working in the IT industry.”

Amy Simon

Sales Excellence Manager Intern at Microsoft Education UK

“We’ve seen fantastic enthusiasm and teamwork from all of the students involved in this challenge and we’re delighted to be able to offer these young people the chance to put their creative skills to the test, using the latest technology. This programme has helped to build new skills, which we’ve seen the students apply in various tasks, not least their use of Microsoft applications and devices, which could be a huge advantage for their future career prospects.

Next Steps

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