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How Shakespeare is helping to produce the next generation of tech specialists

The Bucks Skills Hub recently set up The Misbourne School with Capgemini – a global leader in digital transformation – to provide its teachers with an exciting opportunity to enrich their curriculum. Over several face-to-face meetings, the group of teachers learnt about the different career pathways open to students and how their teaching can be applied specifically across the tech industry. This is what is known as a teacher encounter and it comes in response to an identified gap between the skills young people need to thrive in the world of work and what they’re leaving the education system with.

But was it a good match? Let’s find out what business and economics teacher Helen Hill and Capgemini’s Head of Talent Attraction UK, Michelle Perkins, had to say about the experience...


The Misbourne on Capgemini

How has your teaching benefited from the experience?

I’ve already developed a new lesson for my business A-Level students inspired by our visits to Capgemini. It focuses on researching the key areas that contribute to business success, with more up-to-date terminology like Agile Teams – a common working process adopted by the tech industry. Two other members of the group of teachers have embedded this real-world way of working into their lessons to help students understand their roles and generate better outcomes in team situations. 

Has the experience helped close the skills gap?

We met several Capgemini employees, including a history graduate, who spoke about the skills they were able to transfer from the classroom into their career in tech. The group’s history teacher has taken this knowledge back to their own classroom – signposting how what they are teaching can be used in organisations like Capgemini. Our English teacher had a similar experience as the encounter provided an answer to, ‘Why do we study Shakespeare?'. The ability to scan, analyse and interpret information is a core skill that many Capgemini employees apply daily.

What surprised you about the experience?

Capgemini offer so much support for young people. The volunteers explained all the different career paths available, including the merits of apprenticeships and graduate roles, and how there’s one to suit every type of learner. It helped us realise that these prestigious organisations are in reach of many of our students and they shouldn’t lessen their ambitions if they don’t receive the grades they expected.

Would you recommend teacher encounters to others?

Absolutely! I would especially recommend the scheme to teachers who’ve been out of the industry for a while or never worked in a corporate environment. After all, teaching isn’t just about getting good grades – it’s important to make connections between the curriculum and careers. If we don't have an idea of what’s on the other side of exams, how can we expect our students to know what to strive for.


Capgemini on The Misbourne

How has your business benefited from the experience?

We’ve formed invaluable relationships with the people who have a direct line to what both schools and – more importantly – students want from businesses, which has helped us refine our long-term plans around outreach and recruitment.

Has the experience helped close the skills gap?

Young people are most influenced by the people they speak to regularly – family, friends and teachers. So, the more we can do to help teachers understand key employability skills, the better placed they’ll be to support students when leaving education. If they choose an apprenticeship route, they’ll also be more likely to get up to speed quicker.

What surprised you about the experience?

How engaged our volunteers were. The staff who took part in the scheme did so on a voluntary basis, but that didn’t affect how much effort they put in to ensure its success. I believe they enjoyed the opportunity to think creatively as they had to develop new materials to support the teachers’ lesson plans.

Would you recommend teacher encounters to others?

Anything employers can do to upskill students benefits the UK economy. I’ve already spoken with the Chair of Bucks Skills Hub and plan to engage other cornerstones like The Marches.

If you’re a business looking to engage the future talent pipeline or a school that wants to empower its educators, contact Bucks Skills Hub at info@bucksskillshub.org to find out how to get involved in the teacher encounters scheme.

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