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Looking out for the next generation of UK business entrepreneurs, OCR joined representatives from the Premier League, Enterprise UK, and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) at Premier League: Creating Chances (Enterprise Academy) - a special event showcasing a real-life marketing campaign for Fulham Football Club by Year nine students from Surrey.
The Apprentice-style challenge was part of the Enterprise Academy, a business skills development initiative which aims to help 400 pupils aged 11-19 from schools in the Fulham area develop their business skills as they work towards gaining the OCR Enterprise Academy Certificate in Business and Enterprise. A term-long vocational learning project, students taking the OCR qualification are educated about the inner workings of a football club from a business perspective, learning about all the different sections of the organisation that help a club operate successfully.
Hosted at Fulham Football Club, the event saw pupils from two schools - Coombe Boys' School and Raynes Park High School - demonstrate the variety of business skills they have learnt to a rapt audience, which included two high profile backers of the initiative, Richard Scudamore, Chief Executive of the Premier League and Lord Davies, Minister for Trade, Investment and Small Business.
Explaining the concept of the Enterprise Academies, Richard Scudamore, said: "We at the Premier League have been using the power of football to try and make a difference where we can. It's all part of our overall creating chances programme which aims to inspire young people to raise their horizons and look forward to see what they can do in the world of business. Clubs are an interesting microcosm of a whole lot of businesses - sales, marketing, safety, logistics, catering - this is the focal point of the initiative. Today it's been excellent listening to both schools and the ideas that you have come up with. The only way we can make things happen is through working with partners and I would like to see this grow as it is a fantastic scheme and a great hope for the future."
Lord Davies, added: "Sport in general and not just football can help inspire young people. Football is big business. It involves so many people across the country and I think what we have to do is inspire young people to start a business. If we can get all the Premier League teams to make this into a very big scheme I think it will be a fantastic success. We're trying to get more people to start small businesses and we have 4.8 million of these in the UK at the moment. I believe that the way in which we can inspire young people is through schemes like this."
Fulham Football Club is one of 12 Premier League clubs - and the first London club - to deliver the Enterprise Academy Certificate in Business and Enterprise in local schools. The target is to have every Premier League club engaged with the programme by the end of the year and it is envisaged that 5000 students will achieve the OCR qualification within the next three years.
Once achieved, students looking to continue their studies have a variety of options available to them, including:
To find out more about the OCR Enterprise Academy Certificate in Business and Enterprise, please contact the Qualifications Leader, Sophy Walker at: firstname.lastname@example.org.