Why building and mapping enterprise skills is essential

Hope you all had a fine weekend and feel reenergised for another colourful autumn week that is ahead of us.

Last week, at the Enterprise Conference held at the Futures Centre on Friday 20th October we explored the importance of enterprise skills, soft skills and transferrable skills in education. The conference was organised by Deirdre McMahon, the Head of Business and Enterprise Studies at Devonporth High School for Girls and Elena Novakova from the Futures Entrepreneurship Centre. The conference also provided a platform for secondary school teachers and professionals to exchange knowledge, resources and tools. The skills were examined from an academic, student and business perspective.

We all know that the graduate labour market is extremely competitive and that graduates are now required to evidence additional competencies such as enterprise skills and soft and transferable skills. Research documents that recruiters value extra-curricular experience and look for evidence of soft skills. How do we prepare our students to ever changing and evolving labour market? How can we support the development of those additional skills? A session led by Plymouth University Career consultant Siwan Tyack, offered answers and strategies that teachers can adopt and implement in their school setting. She also emphasised the importance of creating, within a school setting, opportunities in which pupils can gain experience such as volunteering or shadowing. Our second speaker, recent graduate Dan Beattie, currently working for Babcock International, shared his strategy of mapping and developing transferable and enterprise skills throughout his studies at secondary school and at the university.

The second part of the conference was dedicated to a session ‘Developing Enterprising Approaches’ that equipped delegates with practical enterprising tools and approaches for their academic career. Sybille Schiffmann introduced us to creative enterprises concepts and models that expand innovativeness and imagination. Of particular interest to me were some of the interesting resources and concepts mentioned throughout the conference, such as B-Corporations and Aim2Flourish; and books such as 4th Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwad or The Future of The Professions by R. & D. Susskin.

On Tuesday 17th October, Year 12 and Year 13 pupils at Devonport High School for Girls met Professor Richard Saundry who visited the school to discuss and debate the future Of ‘Good Work‘. In the words of the Head of Business Studies, McMahon “The students were keen to discuss and debate what ‘good work’ will look like in the future and the issues that businesses will need to tackle. The students were especially engaged with the interactive nature of the sessions and enjoyed being able to have an input into the research”. The session provided students with vital insights on the changing nature of the labour market and the future of work. It further helped them to identify key challenges for the management of people in the contemporary workplace; examined the links between the wider economy and the nature of work and employment; and encouraged them to discuss and analyse this information in the context of their own experiences.

Entrepreneur Raphael Dennett inspired students in his workshop on ‘Entrepreneurial Mind-Set’ and encouraged them to reach beyond their own expectations. Raphael strongly believes that one can achieve anything one sets one’s mind to. As I hear him often saying, “not even the sky is the limit”. Is the Universe then?

Coming up this week

Pitching and Presentation Skills Workshop

Wednesday 25th October, Jill Craigie Cinema, RLB, 09:00 – 11:00

A workshop that will leave you equipped with design, pitch and presentation skills. Don’t miss the opportunity to practise, get feedback on a mini-pitch and hear about a wealth of tips to help you to grow in confidence.

Future Events NOT TO BE MISSED

Certificate in Sustainable Business

Saturday 4th November 2017, Babbage Building Room 406, PU Main Campus


Businesses are increasingly looking for employees who are aware of the major influence of sustainability on the business landscape and for many it is an essential requirement. This certified day course is an opportunity for students to gain a broad understanding of the connections and effect of sustainability agenda on business and become more competitive in the job market.

Good Business: Have Purpose: Be Fair: Make Money

Explore the strategy, models and values behind ethical businesses

Thursday 16th November 2017, The Loft, Vauxhall Quay, Sutton Harbour, PL4 0DN, 09:00 – 13:00


Presented as part of Plymouth Enterprise Week, our leading researchers, academics and business colleagues will explore more about the strategy, models and values behind ethical businesses and how running a responsible enterprise can make you more money.


If you are interested in expanding your knowledge about social enterprise and sustainable business or developing your presentation skills be sure to register on some of the above mentioned events.

Don’t forget to put your clocks back this weekend but do not fall back on opportunities





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