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As I write this, I sincerely hope that it is the last time that I ever have to mention that that 2020-21 Academic Year was likely the most difficult academic year in history for learners and for teachers. We all know the challenges that were faced this year and so, I will spend no time harping on them. Instead, this article is here to reflect on TILG’s learnings from the last year and to introduce to you, for the first time, our plans for moving forward!

 

The Flexibility of Virtual Delivery

 

It is no secret that the best way to raise a student’s aspirations is through face-to-face engagement. At TILG, working directly with students is what gets each of us out of bed in the morning because we understand that’s how we make the most significant difference in a young person’s thinking. However, we also know that we will never be able to work with as many students as we’d like to through in-person delivery only.

 

This year has also highlighted the extreme need for flexibility within the education sector. Teachers have always recognised the need to be flexible, as they put out little fires every day like it was written into their job descriptions. However, in many cases, people in the education sector but outside of the classroom haven’t quite caught up. Rigid practices, inflexible timetables and decades old curricula can no longer exist as de facto standards, if we are to ensure the best futures for our students.

 

TILGVirtual has enabled our company to provide schools with greater flexibility in how our programmes are delivered. Gone are the requirements of a full off-timetable, drop-down day to fit in an enterprise challenge. Of course, we’re still more than happy to come in and deliver a full-day engagement, but having the option to enable teachers to deliver enterprise challenges through our platform allows for enterprise to be built into tutorials, PSHE, assembly, etc.

 

More Employer Voices in the Classroom

 

COVID-19 forced our business to reassess how our challenges are presented to young people across the country. I believe that our facilitators will always do it best, but what happens when we can’t get into schools? With our challenges now pre-recorded and video-led, we are able to actually hear from the employers who set the challenges for the young people.

 

Never before could we show every student who took part in The Air Products National Enterprise Challenge an experiment using liquid nitrogen as they begin to think about sustainability. Nor could we give every student participating in The NatWest National Enterprise Challenge the chance to hear from social entrepreneurs like those behind Social Bite. Using video conferencing software, we’ve even been able to provide students with the experience of working with PwC employees as Dragons in the PwC Dragon’s Den Challenge.

 

Our new platform and video-led challenges truly enable students to hear real stories from real professionals, connect the dots between education and business, and build the necessary skills to succeed in a career.

 

Only Getting Better…

 

Looking ahead to the 2021-22 Academic Year (finally!), we are so excited to announce a few big plans for the future. Don’t worry; we are not straying from what we do best.

 

1

TNEC will be back in full force for it’s 10th Year! It looks like we’ll have a few minor tweaks to our hallmark programme, but I can’t share just what it looks like quite yet (stay tuned for next month’s newsletter!). What I can say is that TNEC is going to be bigger and better than ever!

 

2

We’re thrilled to be rolling out a brand-new business model in 5 regions across the UK at the start of the 2021-22 Academic Year. After the success of a few Local Labour Market Information programmes that we’ve run this year, we’ve decided that it’s time to get more deeply integrated into students’ learning. So, we’re creating our own Careers Curriculum! This programme will include 30 sessions and will: link core subjects to careers, develop transferrable skills, delve into post-16 options including university / college / apprenticeships, engage local employers to educate students on their local growth sectors and opportunities, and teach students about employability and their futures.

 

3

Our business is growing! I can’t give away all the details just yet, but TILG is going to be experiencing some changes alongside another UK ed-tech company this year. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean anything for you as a customer. You’ll still be speaking with the same team, engaging with the same programmes, etc. However, what it does mean is that our business will be able to access some fantastic new technologies. Over the coming months, we will be working to integrate things like virtual reality – more specifically, virtual work experiences – into our programming! We’re really excited about how their technology and investment can improve the way that we help students throughout the UK. Watch this space!

 

That’s all that I can share for now! But to all our readers, congratulations on getting through this year and please go have an incredible summer!