Burberry event helps students into work

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The Burberry Foundation is partnering with the Careers and Enterprise Company and Ideas Foundation to inspire and educate hundreds of students in Whitby and Scarborough about careers in the creative industries.

Recent research from the Education and Employers Taskforce shows that young people who have four or more high-quality encounters with employers are 86% less likely to be unemployed or not in work or training once they leave school.

A series of workshops created by the Burberry Foundation and the Ideas Foundation took place this week at Caedmon College Whitby and Eskdale School, as well as at Graham School and George Pindar School in Scarborough.

The students explored developments in material science such as nanotechnology, printable electronics and augmented reality.

They also learnt about the many career opportunities available in the creative industries from fashion design and garment technology to communications, sound engineering and production.

The workshop was inspired by Burberry’s founder, Thomas Burberry, who invented the innovative fabric gabardine in 1879.

He went on to clothe pioneers and adventurers such as 20th century polar explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton, and pilot, Betty Kirby-Green, who broke the world record for a return flight from London to Cape Town alongside her co-pilot Arthur Clouston in 1937.

Whitby had a Burberry clothing factory on the site of what is now the Abbey Wharf in Market Place.

The students were tasked with designing their own trench coats for female pioneers of the past and present, such as Serena Williams, Malala Yousafzai and Marie Curie, in the lead-up to International Women’s Day, which took place yesterday.

This partnership between the Burberry Foundation and the Careers and Enterprise Company was in line with Burberry’s responsibility agenda, of which a principal goal is to support one million people in the communities that sustain the company’s business and the wider luxury industry.

Yorkshire is the home of the iconic Burberry trench coat.

Heather MacRae, Managing Director of the Ideas Foundation, said: “The exciting brief on pioneering fashion is being set by the Burberry team. Students have learnt about textiles, marketing, event planning and design during the hands on one day events.”

Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of the Careers & Enterprise Company, added: “We are delighted to support this fantastic initiative which sees Burberry working closely together with schools to support young people and help prepare them for the world of work.

“We know that young people need encounters with employers in order to gain meaningful insights, make informed choices about their futures and develop necessary skills for the future workforce.

“This is a great example of what can be achieved.”