On Friday, 14th March, The Duke made a number of visits focused on education and skills for young people in Warwickshire and the West Midlands.
The day started with HRH opening the Nuneaton Campus of the Midland Studio College. Nuneaton is the second campus of the Midland Studio College; the Hinckley campus already proving very successful, recently achieving an Outstanding Ofsted report. The Duke is Patron of the Studio Schools Trust, which aims to, through schools such as Nuneaton, provide young people with an education focused on the needs of local employers so as to prepare young people for the workplace. Studio Schools develop close links with employers through frequent work experience placements and real world projects.
As part of the visit to Nuneaton, The Duke met with students undertaking science lessons and heard about their projects. HRH then saw a number of students who were working on their Enterprise projects. Representatives from local business met HRH and spoke about how the students’ work experience placements with them had benefitted their companies as well as provided an invaluable learning experience for the students.
The Duke next visited Harborne Academy in Edgbaston, Birmingham, which part of Birmingham Metropolitan College. As well as opening the school as a whole, HRH was there also to mark the completion of the Samsung Digital Academy, a dedicated facility for teachers to develop new teaching strategies that take advantage of the latest technologies.
After The Duke had addressed a large gathering of students and supporters of the school and unveiled a plaque to declare it open, HRH was given a tour of the school, visiting art, science and medical teaching areas.
The final stop for the day was at the NEC in Birmingham, where the Annual Big Bang Fair was taking place. The Big Bang Fair sees thousands of young people each year take part, celebrating various aspects of science and engineering. The Duke visited, who is Patron of the Young Engineers, visited their stand where students were taking part in the Young Engineers Competition. HRH spoke with the young people about their projects and was most impressed at the high quality and innovative ideas.