On the 27th April, London’s iconic BT Tower hosted a selection of exceptionally driven teenagers, as the gauntlet was thrown-down to identify the best and brightest school leavers from around the country.
Students spent the course of the day competing in the Grand Final of the TARGETcareers School Leavers' Challenge - a regional and nationwide championship, headline partnered by BT and supported by leading talent assessment experts, Capp.
With greater awareness being made regarding school leaver options for both university and apprenticeships, the Challenge is a unique way of getting school students to start considering their career options and their strengths in an interactive way.
In this grand tournament of work-strengths, hundreds of 16 – 19 year-old students benchmarked their abilities against peers via online regional leader boards. The competition comprises of ten regional online heats, with each area sponsored by a leading school leaver employer - Balfour Beatty, BT, Capgemini, CGI, IBM, McDonalds and Smith & Williamson.
All students entering the competition completed Capp’s two-step, leading strengths-based candidate assessments: the Work Readiness Assessment and the Apprentice Situational Strengths Test in order to be ranked on their region’s leader board. As an added bonus, every entrant received a feedback report on work readiness and suggestions for strengths-based self-development
61 of the highest scoring students were invited to attend the Grand Final, where they competed in group exercises for the top prize and also had the opportunity to network with employers and receive expert careers advice. The grand prize for the top three students is a unique day’s experience with BT at their state-of- the-art Global Research & Development Headquarters at Adastral Park, Suffolk.
Aylesbury High School will have been pleased on the day, also, as two of its students – Daisy Williams and Ashleigh Stent came in second and third place respectively.
‘We came here blind not really knowing what to expect however the day has taught us a lot about team work and leadership.’ said Daisy. 'The day has been great! It has enabled us to test skills that we wouldn’t normally get to explore in an academic environment.’
Katie Lofthouse from Rossett School was the overall winner.
‘I am honoured to have won and still quite can’t believe it!’ said Katie. ‘I am really excited and looking forward to the day at Adastral Park! I really enjoyed the activities and today has been a great opportunity to network with both other students and the companies here’.
Rae Ranasinghe, head of talent entry recruitment at BT, said of the event:
'We are delighted at BT to support the TARGETcareers School Leavers' Challenge for the second year running. This has been a great opportunity for the students to test their skills, meet fellow students from around the UK, get to work with employers for the day and have some fun. And what a setting at the BT Tower! Congratulations to all of the finalists, and we can’t wait to welcome Katie, Daisy and Ashleigh for a day at our Adastral Park Technology hub.'