Looking forward to the next academic year with The Inspirational Learning Group and Next Engineers

September is a busy month for everyone included in education in the United Kingdom.  From schools starting their academic year’s and students and teachers returning from the 6 week holidays, the month of September signals the start of a fresh new year and it’s no different for the team at The Inspirational Learning Group!

Following on from a packed summer with summer school provisions across the country and of course, hosting 200 aspiring young engineers as part of Staffordshire’s Next Engineers: Engineering Experience, TILG are now preparing for their busiest year to date which includes investing in Staffordshire’s young people – the future engineers who will drive the change the world needs, in collaboration with Next Engineers.

But what can teachers and students expect from TILG’s first full academic year working with Next Engineers, read on to find out more …

Engineering Academy

Calling all Year 11 students in Staffordshire! Do you thrive during STEM subjects at school?  Would you like the opportunity to develop foundational skills to assist in preparing you for higher education and ultimately an engineering based career? 

The Engineering Academy enables aspiring engineers to learn engineering skills, preparing them for further education at university or training through an apprenticeship programme.  This transformative learning experience is held outside of school hours and over 3 years, students participate in a series of immersive design challenges, career coaching and educational workshops to equip themselves with the skills required for a career within engineering.

Our next cohort for Engineering Academy will start in January 2024 and will run during selected weekends and school holidays at Staffordshire University (proposed schedule here). 

Applications are now open and will close on Friday 3rd November!  

The TILG team are also delivering information assemblies with Staffordshire Schools between now and the application deadline …

Teachers, do not miss this opportunity for your Year 11 students to learn more about the Engineering Academy – contact our team directly at nextengineers@tilg.co.uk to learn more and book your own assembly led by our team.

Engineering Discovery

Teachers, it’s never too early for students to consider their future world of work and our Engineering Discovery sessions aimed at Year 9 students, are the perfect opportunity for students to explore and build awareness around careers in engineering.  These bite size sessions delivered at your school are creative, engaging and provide your students with hands-on activities led by our wonderful engineering facilitators.  

School engagement for this project will commence shortly, however why not contact our team at nextengineers@tilg.co.uk to discover more about this amazing opportunity for your Year 9 students!

Engineering Camp

We couldn’t talk about all of the wonderful opportunities open to Staffordshire based students without mentioning the Engineering Camp which will run again next summer following amazing feedback from this summer’s participants and parents!  

The camp ran across a fortnight, with two cohorts of 100 students each week participating in design challenges inspired by real-world scenarios and immersing themselves into the world of engineering!  From field trips to General Electric sites and Staffordshire University, to building fully-functioning hydraulic arms and a weekly showcase event, the Engineering Camp was a tremendous success and our team cannot wait to offer this opportunity to aspiring engineers in Years 9 and 10 in Staffordshire schools. 

Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled on our social media channels for more information regarding next summer’s camp as we release further details and information in early 2024!

Phew … it’s going to be a busy academic year for the TILG team and all of our engineering students!  The Inspirational Learning Group is changing the way that young people are educated about their future and is delighted to be working with Next Engineers to bring such opportunities to the young people in Staffordshire.

To contact our team regarding any of the opportunities detailed above, please email nextengineers@tilg.co.uk or call 01785 550160.

TILG acquired by Co-founders Ben and Michael Dyer

TILG co-founders, Ben and Michael Dyer, would like to announce that The Inspirational Learning Group has been re-acquired from LaunchMyCareer Holdings PLC (LMCH) (formerly Dev Clever Holdings PLC). Ben and Michael are the driving forces behind TILG and are passionate about their service and products, which deliver engaging careers solutions and activities in schools and educational institutions in association with employers in the UK. The decision by the founders to re-acquire the business from LMCH was viewed as the best option in the current business environment, to ensure the company could continue to deliver the National Career’s Challenge, which has been inspiring young people across the UK for over 10 years. This action is an example of their unwavering commitment to the vision and values that have shaped the company over the years. 

We want to assure you that this transition will be seamless, with minimal impact on our operations and services. Our priority remains delivering top-quality learning experiences that empower individuals to achieve their full potential. 

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our customers and market partners who have been an integral part of our growth story. Your trust and support inspire us to continue striving for excellence.

The Inspirational Learning Group celebrate third year of successful summer of school provision.

The summer holidays may see schools across the UK close for a well-deserved break, however for TILG’s facilitation team there is no rest! For the third consecutive year, TILG has been busy engaging with young people across the Midlands, as part of their summer school provision.

From building proto-type roller coasters to taking on inflatable assault courses and enjoying colour runs, over 500 Key Stage 2 and 3 pupils in the Midlands have certainly had a summer to remember whilst working with TILG’s facilitation teams.

Our traditional summer school provision which saw students tackle our Alien Apocalypse team building challenge (always a hit with our summer school students!) and visits from the Animal Man, ran alongside the General Electric Engineering Experience, which also saw our team working with over 200 aspiring engineers across 2 weeks.  Over the fortnight, 2 cohorts of 100 students worked in teams to utilise their “Engineering Habits of Mind” through the completion of real-life engineering projects such as “Save The Water” challenge, building a fully-functioning hydraulic arm and the formidable “Trebuchet” challenge.

Liam Brookes, Education Programmes Manager said, “This summer’s provision has been incredibly rewarding and my team and I have had the pleasure of engaging with and watching young people grow in skill and confidence throughout their summer school experiences.  This year has been a challenge for the facilitation team who have delivered a diverse range of activities from engineering and STEM based tasks to our more traditional summer school activities and I am proud of their flexibility and enthusiasm when stepping up to the task and engaging  excellently with our summer school participants”.

“My favourite part of this week was the inflatables because I got to have fun with my friends and and make some amazing memories that I’ll never forget.  I have had an awesome week with Annie, Nicki, Lucy and Chris and I don’t want it to end”Summer School participant

“This week I enjoyed working with my team to build a shelter from 5 items to protect us from the Alien Apocalypse! I also really enjoyed working with TILG staff, they were so nice and we are so thankful that we had them for the week!”Summer School participant

“We’ve learned about time management and project management constraints, which has been really valuable” – Engineering Experience Week 1 team

If you would like a bespoke programme as part of your extended curriculum and half-term breaks, you can contact us by clicking here.

“We’ve loved this week!  It’s shown us that engineering isn’t just for men; it’s for everyone!”  

Staffordshire’s Next Engineers: Engineering Experience 2023 was a huge success and The Inspirational Learning Group reflect on the fortnight’s highlights.

On Monday 24th July, over 100 aspiring engineers from Staffordshire arrived for their first day at Staffordshire’s Next Engineers: Engineering Experience and were met by The Inspirational Learning Group’s (TILG) facilitation team who were raring to go!  The young people were about to embark on a jam-packed week that would see them shaping their identities as engineers of the future.

Over the next fortnight, 2 cohorts of 100 students worked in teams to utilise their “Engineering Habits of Mind” through the completion of real-life engineering projects such as “Save The Water” challenge, building a fully-functioning hydraulic arm and the formidable “Trebuchet” challenge – a challenge that stumped even TILG’’s office team when they trialled the challenge prior the fortnight!

In addition to the challenges, our young people also visited Staffordshire University and the General Electric sites in Stafford and Redhill,  enabling them to experience firsthand the opportunities that are available to them within the engineering industry.

Our aspiring engineers also had the opportunity to showcase their projects and hard work to over 150 family members, friends and business guests at a showcase event each Friday afternoon.  The attendance at these showcase events demonstrated the support and buy-in from each of our engineer’s nearest and dearest who demonstrated their passion for engineering through engaging presentations to our audience & we couldn’t be prouder of them! 

Paul Dyer, TILG’s General Manager said, “The enthusiasm and interest shown by students in the Staffordshire area for GE Foundation’s Next Engineers initiative is truly remarkable. With over 420 students applying for just 200 places, it is clear that there is a strong desire to learn and develop the skills necessary for the future. Being selected as the implementing partner for this global initiative is a privilege, as it allows us the opportunity to work with GE Foundation in bridging the skills gap and preparing young people for careers in engineering. The commitment GE has shown towards giving back to the community is commendable and sets a benchmark for other companies to follow. By providing young people with the resources, mentorship, and training needed to succeed in the engineering field, GE is ensuring that the Staffordshire area has a strong pipeline of talent for the future. This initiative not only benefits the students involved but also contributes to the growth and development of the local economy. We are proud to be a part of this initiative and look forward to the positive impact it will have on the lives of the students and the community as a whole”.

Don’t just take our word for it, we asked our young people and parents to share their thoughts about their Engineering Experience:

Fantastic week and my son enjoyed every minute.  Thank you to all your team for giving him such a wonderful and memorable experience” – Parent

“We bent the rules a bit with the challenges, but isn’t that what an engineer does? We’ve thought differently about each task, and we’ve kept going despite our mistakes!” – Cohort 1 team

“We discovered that being enthusiastic and learning from mistakes is an important part of engineering!” – Cohort 2 team

TILG’s attention has now moved over to recruiting for Cohort 3 of Academy which will see students (ages 15 to 18) learn to think and act like engineers and prepare to advance to post-secondary education. .  The team cannot wait to meet even more aspiring engineers and working with them over the next academic year enabling them to recognise their potential within the engineering industry! To learn more about this fantastic opportunity, do not hesitate to contact nextengineers@tilg.co.uk.

‘DigitALL’ Consortium in Successful Funding bid to Increase Digital Inclusion in the City of Stoke-on-Trent

The Inspirational Learning Group is delighted to announce that we are to feature as part of Wavemaker’s ‘DigitAll’ programme, an innovative, City-wide digital inclusion programme that has successfully secured funding through the UK Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has been awarded over £9.4 million from central government via the UKSPF to deliver projects which support local businesses, improve local spaces and assist residents with employment and skills. 

Falling within the People and Skills category (along with seven other projects in the City), the funding allocated to the consortium will enable a series of digital initiatives across Stoke-on-Trent to take place. The project, branded ‘DigitAll’, will provide essential digital skills for life, employment, health and wellbeing, and the future. 

As part of the successful bid, TILG will be leading on the engagement of young people through the ‘My Digital Future programme’. This will give every year 8 pupil in the City the opportunity to to learn what digital skills are (and will be) in demand by employers in their local area.

Ben Dyer, Director of The Inspirational Learning Group said, “We’re incredibly proud to be part of this consortium and receive funding via the UKSPF to allow this vital intervention to take place in our home City of Stoke-on-Trent. In today’s rapidly changing environment, it’s more important than ever that young people have transferable key skills to allow them to succeed. We are now in the heart of Industry 4.0, and it’s so important that young people are prepared for a world in which digitisation, A.I and automation will have such a prominent role in shaping in the years to come”.

DigitAll will launch in January 2024 and features 4 main partners;

Wavemaker CIC – Consortium lead www.wavemaker.org.uk

TILG School Engagement www.inspirationallearninggroup.co.uk

Raparu – Health & Wellbeing www.raparu.co.uk

Framescape – Digital Creative Skills www.framescapeedu.co.uk

More information will be released over the coming months but in the meantime feel free to get in touch if you would like to find out more about the project.

Hundreds of entrepreneurial students battle it out to be crowned The National Careers Challenge 2023 Champions!                                   

In their eleventh year of engaging and inspiring young people, The Inspirational Learning Group worked with over 40,000 students across the 2022/23 academic year, culminating in The National Careers Challenge Grands Finals on Wednesday 5th July.

The Inspirational Learning Group (TILG) provides young people with the opportunity to make informed decisions about their futures, providing them with the skills required to begin their journey to career success. The award-winning flagship school delivery programme, The National Careers Challenge (TNCC) allows young people to develop the skills needed to make informed decisions about their futures and this year was in partnership with NatWest, with leading employers Air Products, Airbus and Thorpe Park providing students in Years 7 to 10 with real-life business challenges. 

On Wednesday 5th July, hundreds of students arrived at The ICC in Birmingham ready to present their pitches to our esteemed morning judging panels, made up of representatives from TNCC sponsors and entrepreneurs.  Adorned in costumes and equipped with prototypes and  displays, students from all corners of the UK battled it out in the morning in “Dragons Den” style pitches to our morning judging panels.  Our morning judges had the tough job of shortlisting the top two pitches per year group who would then go on to represent their school in the afternoon’s Grand Finals!

In addition to celebrating the eleventh year of The National Careers Challenge, TILG also celebrated the achievements of 50 students from China through a partnership with SKT Education & Beyond.  The students completed this year’s challenge set by Airbus and the team were thrilled to welcome the students that have travelled to Birmingham to attend this year’s event. 

TILG were also pleased to welcome the shortlisted students from the OCR Cambridge National Enterprise and Marketing Award to the finals event. Shortlisted students presented their pitches to a panel of esteemed judges who were impressed with the slick pitches and innovative ideas.  The winning student was announced on-stage during the afternoon’s final event.  

The team was delighted to welcome back to the TNCC finals, TV magician, presenter and TikTok star Ben Hanlin as this year’s presenter. TILG have worked closely with Ben over the years on varying challenge finals and Ben wowed our audience throughout the Grand Finals with his mind-boggling magic tricks.   Our audience were treated to an amazing performance from Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist Abi Carter-Simpson, who performed original songs with her ukelele, all with the message of the importance of following your dreams – very apt for the event and students!

The afternoon’s proceedings began with key-note speeches from Oli de Botton (Chief Executive of The Careers and Enterprise Company) and Rob Law MBE (CEO of the award winning UK business and global brand Trunki), who went on to join our afternoon judging panel.  Our judging panel was made up of Charlotte Turnball (Regional Commercial Manager at Air Products), Nicola Montgomery (UK HR Director at Airbus) and Sean McGovern (Head of Customer & Community Learning at NatWest), who had the unenviable job of deciding upon our TNCC Champions 2023!

Co-founder of TNCC Ben Dyer said, “We were delighted to return to The ICC again following last year’s Grand Finals.  The finals celebrate the achievements of the students that have taken part in the TNCC challenge this year and we would like to thank our 22-23 challenge sponsors; NatWest, Air Products, Airbus and Thorpe Park, who have supported TNCC and students during this academic year.  Each year we aim for a bigger and better event than previous years and this year’s final absolutely lived up to the promise of an event not to be missed and we were blown away by the standard of the students’ pitches – they get better each year!”.

Julie Baker, Head of Enterprise at NatWest said, “NatWest Group is proud to sponsor The National Careers Challenge which brings real-world business skills into schools and gives young people across the country a chance to see where their ideas could take them and what they could achieve. It’s an inspirational initiative that will help make Britain the best country in Europe to start and grow a business. It has been an extremely difficult couple of years for young people across the UK, but through this year’s social enterprise challenge and access to our entrepreneurial skills programme Dream Bigger the finalists demonstrated how society can work, learn and collaborate for the better. We were inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit and innovative ideas that this year’s participants displayed in response to the challenge, and I would like to congratulate them all”.

Nicola Montgomery, UK HR Director at Airbus said, “Airbus is proud to sponsor the National Careers Challenge, an engaging and inspiring event that provides students with a unique opportunity to showcase their business & enterprise skills, creativity, and problem-solving abilities. Throughout the competition, students were presented with real-world challenges, pushing them to think critically and apply their knowledge in innovative ways. Airbus challenged teams to create an airline of the future: considering the sustainability of their offering, the unique selling points of their service, and how to market the new airline to customers. I was so impressed and inspired by the ideas they presented and the exceptional talent demonstrated by all the young people who participated in the challenges. A very big well done and congratulations to them all!”.

Lynn Willacy, Community & STEM Ambassador, UK and Ireland at Air Products said “Air Products is very proud to help ‘Inspire the next generation’ by sponsoring The National Careers Challenge again this year. All the finalists who submitted their ideas for the Air Products STEM challenge, which focuses on sustainability and hydrogen for mobility, were of such a high standard that our judges found it very hard to choose the overall winner. The range of different and innovative ideas submitted by the students definitely shows that they will be our scientists and engineers of the future.  Well done to Walton Priory Middle School who were crowned the overall winners!”

A huge congratulations to our winning teams who will join our TNCC Hall of Fame:

Year 7 – Walton Priory Middle School, Staffordshire

Year 8 – St Mary’s Catholic School, Wallasey

Year 9 – Altrincham Girls Grammar School 

Year 10 – The de Ferrers Academy, Staffordshire

International Champions – Shanghai Baoshan WFLS 

OCR Cambridge National Enterprise and Marketing Award Winner – Evie Stannard from St Bernadette Catholic College

The Inspirational Learning Group announce Faithful+Gould as The National Careers Challenge Year 10 sponsors for 2023/24

As The National Careers Challenge moves into its 12th year of engaging and inspiring young people to develop the skills needed to make informed decisions about their future, the team are delighted to announce world-leading project and programme management consultancy, Faithful+Gould as sponsors of the Year 10 challenge.

The National Careers Challenge is the UK’s largest careers and enterprise competition, providing students in Years 7 to 10 with real-life business challenges set by some of the UK’s leading employers.  The award-winning challenge, which has engaged with over half a million young people, is designed in response to sponsor’s real, business-critical needs enabling students to build the skills required for their future world of work.

Co-founder of The Inspirational Learning Group, Ben Dyer said “We are excited to be working with Faithful+Gould on this year’s Year 10 challenge and there are clear synergies between our values at The Inspirational Learning Group and Faithful+Gould including social mobility and enabling inclusive opportunities.  The challenge promises to be an engaging and relevant challenge for students across the country and we look forward to a prosperous relationship with Faithful+Gould across the next academic year and beyond”.

The sponsorship was announced on-stage by Dan Heffernan, Faithful+Gould’s Social Value Lead at The National Careers Challenge Grand Finals which were held at The ICC in Birmingham on Wednesday 5th July, where hundreds of young people who had completed this year’s challenges competed to be crowned TNCC 2023 Champions!

Social Value Lead at Faithful+Gould Dan Heffernan says, “Faithful+Gould is extremely proud to be sponsoring The National Careers Challenge, the UK’s largest careers and enterprise programme for young people. This fantastic programme brings to life our commitment to support our future generations and help them to build a legacy for themselves and those around them. This partnership sits at the heart of our educational outreach strategy, and together with our Governors for Schools and STEM Ambassador programmes, we are striving to level the playing field for all young people, whilst also helping to address the diversity and skills crisis that is endemic in the Engineering sector today.

Our engineers will be at the heart of shaping this world, and together with our clients and partners across the globe they are already working hard to address some of our planets most pressing issues. Such as designing masterplans and innovative smart solutions to tackle some of the biggest challenges in city-living, through to leading the charge in the race to Net Zero. So our National Career Challenge will be based on a real world project brief, and our project teams look forward to working with local students as together they come up with innovative solutions to tackle the planets most pressing challenge, climate change”.

For more information on the challenge and to provide students with the opportunity to take part in this year’s TNCC Year 10 challenge, please contact TILG’s School Engagement Team on 01785 550160.

The National Careers Challenge celebrates 11 years of engaging and inspiring young people

Over 40,000 students have taken part in The National Careers Challenge across this academic year which will culminate in a Grand Finals event at The ICC in Birmingham this July hosted by Tik Tok star and TV magician, Ben Hanlin.

Now in its 11th year, The National Careers Challenge (TNCC) is celebrating engaging and positively influencing over half a million young people in schools across the UK and China.  TNCC, the flagship challenge of The Inspirational Learning Group (TILG) is the UK’s largest careers and enterprise competition and enables young people to develop crucial soft skills for their future world of work through completing the real-life business challenge.  This academic year has seen over 40,000 students complete the challenge which is in partnership with NatWest, with challenges set by leading employers including Air Products, Airbus and Thorpe Park. 

The highlight of each academic year is the TNCC finals, which have been held at iconic venues such as Telford International Centre and Wembley Arena.  This year the team is gearing up for the biggest finals yet, which is being held on Wednesday 5th July at The ICC in Birmingham with hundreds of students confirmed to attend!  The finals event will see teams of young people from secondary schools all over the UK competing to be crowned The National Careers Challenge 2023 Champions. 

In addition to celebrating the eleventh year of The National Careers Challenge, TILG are also celebrating the achievements of students from China and SKT Education + Beyond, who have completed this year’s challenge set by Airbus and the team are thrilled to welcome the 800 students that have travelled to Birmingham to attend this year’s event.

Co-founder of TNCC Ben Dyer said, “We are delighted to be returning to The ICC  in celebration of the achievements of the students that have taken part in the TNCC challenge this year.  We would like to thank our 22-23 challenge sponsors; NatWest, Air Products, Airbus and Thorpe Park, who have supported TNCC and students during this academic year.  The challenge is not just about winning – although we believe strongly in the competitive element!  It is about harnessing skills not easily taught in the classroom and providing students with meaningful employer encounters and better equipping students for the world of work. This year’s final promises to be an event not to be missed and we are so excited to watch the students’ pitches and to ultimately crown the 2023 champions”.

The Inspirational Learning Group is changing the way that young people are educated about their future. Each challenge is designed in response to our sponsor’s real, business-critical needs enabling students to build the skills required for their future world of work.

TILG team prepare for exciting partnership with General Electric Next Engineers

TILG is proud to be hosting this summer’s Next Engineers: Staffordshire Summer Experience on behalf of the General Electric Foundation.

Over the course of a fortnight, over 200 young aspiring engineers from Staffordshire will immerse themselves in the world of engineering through fun, interactive and challenging activities led by our dedicated facilitation team!  The team are now preparing for the fortnight, which will also run alongside our traditional summer school provisions for schools across the UK.

Ben Dyer, Co-Founder said “ I am incredibly excited and proud to be inviting Staffordshire based young people to the Next Engineers: Staffordshire Summer Experience.  Our mission is to inspire and ignite the next generation of engineers, and I look forward to taking these young people on that journey”.

We will be documenting the fortnight of activities on our social media channels, keep your eyes peeled!

March proves to be a bumper month for school deliveries

The Inspirational Learning Group’s Delivery Team have been busy ensuring that students have the opportunity to develop the skills required for the world of work across the whole academic year, however, new heights were reached this month.

In March alone, TILG’s dedicated team delivered 40 sessions to over 6,500 students and nuruting over 110 ideas!

TILG’s Education Programme Manager, Liam Brookes said “It’s been a hugely succesful week for my team who have delivered every one of the programmes in our company catologue to young people all across the country, ranging from schools as south as the Isle of Wight and as north as Newcastle upon Tyne. We appreciate the effort and commitment of every single one of our facilitators who make an impact on the lives of young people during each session”.

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