The project that began early this year at Netherhall Learning Campus in Huddersfield is part of a wider initiative launched by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, where an Effective Transitions fund – funded by Careers and Enterprise Company, will support 180 disadvantaged female pupils aged 14 to raise aspirations and achieve higher level places in post -16 education training or apprenticeships. 22 year ten girls were selected at Netherhall to take part in an Applied Creativity Lab and Mentorship Programme led by IVE.
The challenge, that has been briefed and set by Equans, has seen the students propose a solution to tackle the reduction of air pollution via a marketing campaign. The main focus of the content was on encouraging individuals and businesses to switch from fossil fuel cars to an EV, to better communities and environments.
The students were given 10 hours in total, split across multiple sessions to prepare their campaign. The final session saw representatives from Equans and a range of relevant industry spokespeople attend the school, where the students presented their idea in a ‘Dragons Den’ style pitch to the panel. The students with the winning campaign will have the opportunity to bring the campaign to life by briefing it into a marketing agency, who will support the students to launch the activity on the GeniePoint social media channels. This will require them to think about all aspects of a marketing campaign - including their target audience, key messaging and the content and creative aspects.
In addition to the practical challenge, the project has also included members of the Equans EV Solutions team delivering workshops and presentations about the principles of marketing and how to successfully deliver a campaign, to share expert insight with the students and enable them to progress with the project. Equans has also been involved in four mentoring sessions, to drive the female students career aspirations.
At the start of the project, the students were asked about their understanding of air pollution and they were asked again when the project completed. The feedback highlighted that the project has significantly improved their understanding of the issue and the consequences of it, as well as how to overcome it in their local community.
Dee Humphries, Equans EV Solutions Director, said: “We’re so pleased to have been part of this project in partnership with IVE. It highlights a particularly important message to the students, that air pollution must be addressed, and sets them a practical challenge to encourage them to do so. It also provides the opportunity to encourage the young girls to think about their career aspirations and allow them to think of the possibilities.” “Supporting local communities is at the heart of what we do. So, attending the school to provide practical workshops and educational sessions for the students has been a fantastic opportunity. It’s been fantastic to see the projects come to life and we’re excited for the winning campaign to be showcased on our social media channels.”
IVE’s Programmes Director, Sarah Mumford, believes now is the time to help young people take action to protect the future of the planet. She said: “At IVE, we believe that creativity shapes a bet-ter world. Knowledge alone is not enough – being able to apply divergent and convergent thinking skills to help find innovative solutions to a huge global crisis such as air pollution, is vital. “Our labs are designed to give children and young people the skills to drive positive change. By ap-plying creativity to real-world challenges, learning becomes real and young people use their new skills to take an active part in creating their own futures, and recognise the exciting and life-changing career opportunities that this industry represents.”
Marcus Shufflebottom, Assistant Head at Netherhall Learning Campus said: “More than ever, it is critical to support our most disadvantaged learners, giving them support and experiences from across a wide range of organisations. Equans’ partnership with the Effective Transition Fund has allowed our pupils to develop those key employability skills within a real-life marketing campaign. “Their mentorship and support have already seen the girls gain in confidence, developing their team and critical thinking skills, as well as highlighting the positive environmental impact of electric cars. Thank you Equans for giving the pupils here at Netherhall such an amazing opportunity."
To find out more about the EV services at Equans UK & Ireland visit: https://www.equans.co.uk/ev-solutions
To find out more about IVE, visit: https://weareive.org/