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Pupils taught the business essentials by O2

Published: 12 Oct 2012 06:001 comment

PUPILS learned the importance of a firm handshake and good presentation at a new programme launched by one of Britain's telecoms giants.

Mark Evans, chief financial officer at O2, with from left Luqnan Kassim, Jamie Popplewell, Maan Chana, Chloe Carroll and Sana Aslami with Joanne Powell, from O2.

Business chiefs at O2 invited 80 children aged 14-16 from schools across Slough and Windsor for a day of digital training which included problem solving and creating websites.

The Think Big School was launched at the O2 Telefonica headquarters, in Bath Road, Slough, on Friday last week and will now be rolled out to more than 12,000 young people across the country.

Chloe Carroll, 14, from Churchmead School, said: "It was the first time I'd ever tried to make a website - it was brilliant. As well as learning new skills, it was really cool to spend time inside a big business like O2 and be able to come up with creative ideas."

Karen Green, enterprise enrichment officer at Westgate School, said: "Today has been invaluable for us. It's the kind of experience that you can't just 'buy-in' for pupils in the classroom. Their creative skills came out in a way that they never would in the classroom."

Once the workshops had been completed, which included CV and interview clinics, the pupils went head-to-head to pitch their ideas. The winning pitches included an emergency phone charger which uses the heat from the users hand to power the phone.

Ann Pickering, human resources director at O2, said: "Having grown up in the age of the internet, young people today have a natural aptitude for digital and a host of skills that set them apart - but many of them don't even realise it."

Learning to Work, formerly East Berkshire Education Business Partnership, worked with O2 to invite schools to the event.

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