We are thrilled to be supported by a grant from the Careers and Enterprise Company this year, to increase our work in The Black Country in the West Midlands. 

The grant from The Careers & Enterprise Company is part of a national scheme to help prepare a nearly quarter of a million 11-18 year olds across England for the world of work.

Fighting Disadvantage

Sadly the Black Country local authorities of Dudley, Walsall and Sandwell are in the bottom 20% nationally for university progression. This lack of access to university – and particularly to selective universities – deprives the region and its young people of skills, knowledge and networks that are fundamental in our economy.

With the growth of big infrastructure projects like HS2, an increase in science & tech research and professional services organisations locating more staff in the West Midlands along with the skills gap being faced by whole industries such as engineering, now is a great time to invest in the education, attainment and career choices of our local young people. 

We match students with volunteer tutors for weekly academic tutorials that take place in the tutors place of offering a valuable insight into the workplace as well as targeted personal tuition to improve grades.

Helping more students

We have been working with Ormiston Forge Academy in Cradley Heath, Sandwell for the past two years and we are very excited that the funding from the C&EC will allow us to work with an additional two schools in the area to help students achieve their full potential. 

Andrew Burns, Principal, Ormiston Forge Academy said “At Ormiston Forge Academy we offer opportunities for all students to reach their potential – including the opportunity to go on to a top university. This is vital in our region where there are so few academic role models for students, and where they can struggle to see the relevance of university. The Access Project provides outstanding support for our students, and has contributed to making them incredibly aspirational.”

This academic year Students from Ormiston Forge Academy have benefitted from 260 hours of one to one tutorials, which is equivalent to 10 additional weeks teaching time. These tutorials can make the difference between students achieving an A or B grade in their GCSEs or A’levels, determining the course they can study at university. 

Pheobe Hames a year 13 student from Ormiston forge Academy boosted her grade in A’level geography from a U to an A after meeting with her tutor Alice over the course of a year. “I was expecting to get a C! I was in shock, to be fair. If someone was thinking about being tutored, just do it! It helps a lot!”

Working with the Careersand Enterprise Company

We’re really excited to be working with the Careers and Enterprise Company and schools in the region to address this issue. Through our successful in-school programmes we will connect 120 young people in the region with a local employer, and give them the intensive individual support they need to make the most of their potential.

Claudia Harris, CEO of The Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “We are delighted to award The Access project with funding to continue its amazing work. There are a huge number of extraordinary organisations working across the country to connect business to schools and colleges, creating encounters that inspire and inform young people about the future.
“We are pleased The Careers & Enterprise Company Investment Fund will support a set of those organisations to reach nearly 250,000 further young people, especially in ‘Cold Spot’ areas of greatest need. We look forward to working with The Access Project and seeing the impact it continues to have on the young people it works with.”

If your business is interested in supporting our work in the West Midlands or you would like to join us as a tutor please get in touch by emailing info@theaccessproject.org.uk