Teenagers help reshape town centres through ProjX work awareness scheme

July 8, 2020
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Press Information issued by Centre for Leadership Performance

Teenagers from West Cumbria are putting forward their ideas on how to revitalise struggling town centres in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, using online remote working techniques now used by business.

The 14-16-year olds from four schools are rising to the challenge through the work awareness ProjX programme funded by Sellafield Ltd and delivered by the Centre for Leadership Performance in partnership with local business partners. It feeds into local regeneration plans being created by Allerdale and Copeland Borough Councils and involves a range of local businesses from large organisations, local sme’s and micro businesses.

Schools taking part are St Benedict’s Catholic High School in Whitehaven, Cockermouth School, St Joseph’s Catholic High School in Workington and Beacon Hill Community School in Aspatria.

A week-long ProjX programme was piloted last year with Year 10 and 11 pupils. The coronavirus outbreak ruled out any on-site group sessions so a new ten-day virtual programme is going ahead this week with on-line live streaming sessions every day and collaboration using the Microsoft Teams platform. The interactive programme began on Monday (July 6th) and continues until Friday July 17th, focusing on multidisciplinary project working with large and small businesses across West Cumbria.

Teams of student ‘employees’ will design a concept for commercial redevelopment of a designated town area, and give young people a voice in the planning process. Local business experts will provide online guidance and workshops and concepts will be presented at the end of the project. The concept must aim to attract both businesses and visitors while working within a budget and must be financially sustainable while adhering to local guidelines and recognising Covid-19 restrictions.


The ProjX partners involved in the 2020 initiative include Copeland and Allerdale Borough Councils, Balfour Beatty BEP (the Box Encapsulation Plant project at Sellafield), Jacobs/BEP, WYG, National Nuclear Laboratories, WK Designs, National College for Nuclear, Lakes College, Responsive, Engergus Nuclear Graduates, David Allen Accountants, Business Toolbox Cumbria, Westlakes Engineering, Solomons Europe, and Red Raven Architects.

Student ‘employees’ get an opportunity to develop and hone a range of skills across different job roles, skills sets and business areas including planning, budgeting, marketing and project management. Transferable skills developed by the students include effective communication, problem solving, leadership & teamwork as well as using online platforms and remote working tools hugely relevant in the post Covid-19 business environment.

Sarah Glass, Executive Director at the Centre for Leadership Performance explains:” This innovative programme has been a true collaboration between the Centre and our Projx business partners. This programme demonstrates how collaboration drives any project while showcasing the different roles and professional disciplines required. Students experience the diverse skills and behaviours needed to succeed in delivering successful projects within the nuclear supply chain and beyond, whilst gaining access to a range of exciting organisations from micro businesses to large supply chain organisations. Collaboration is at the heart of everything we do at the Centre and is an increasingly vital business tool in the wake of Covid-19.”

Representatives from companies will guide the students through the various online sessions providing focused input and expertise to the project. They will explain to the students how their own businesses work, how they fit into the supply chain, and the kinds of job roles and skills required.

The Centre for Leadership Performance’s dedicated team will facilitate, and project manage the programme and support students throughout the programme to ensure they gain maximum benefit from their ProjX experience.


To learn more about ProjX 2020 visit www.cforlp.org.uk

About the Centre for Leadership Performance:

The Centre for Leadership Performance is an award-winning not-for-profit private limited leadership development company which works to develop Cumbria’s Leaders for today and tomorrow. We work with leaders already in place to develop their leadership skills, but we also believe that supporting the talents of all our young people is vital to the future economy here in Cumbria. Working with businesses across Cumbria our fully project-managed programmes inspire today’s young people to be the leaders that Cumbria will need in future.