Players join in to identify and nurture local youngsters
Last week Oxford United and Unipart Logistics, one of Europe’s leading full service logistics providers, spent the day with forty 14-16 year olds from The Oxford Academy as part of Unipart’s Talent Factory programme – an initiative designed to identify and nurture young talent in the local community.
Unipart and Oxford United provided the youngsters with an exciting day of sports and logistics based activities that will enable them to experience those skills essential for their future success.
Working with United’s players, the youngsters started the day learning about team skills in a sports environment, and also received top nutritional advice to maintain peak fitness levels.
William Levance, one of the student’s at The Oxford Academy, showed off his football skills to Scott Davies and Max Crocombe and said “It was great having OUFC here, they got all of us involved…I’m hoping to go into Sports Management when I leave school, so it was great to meet people that I could end up working with!”
Joshua Jones-Charlett, echoed this when he said “we did a mini-match, that was the best, we were able to get into teams and have fun”
James Constable went on to say “It’s been great working with The Oxford Academy…they have been really well mannered and it’s been a pleasure working together”
During the afternoon, the students had the opportunity to see what a successful global logistics company does on a day-to-day basis. Sessions were led by Unipart’s Expert Practitioners and Apprentices. Luke Livingstone, one of Unipart’s apprentices now in his second year is now working towards NVQs in Warehousing and Business Process Improvement. His sights are set on an ILM qualification before moving onto a degree. Luke commented “ At 14/15, I had no idea what I wanted to do, it would have been great to have a day like today, I’ve really enjoyed working with the students”
This pilot open day is the first of a programme of collaborative initiatives between Unipart and local schools in the communities in which it operates. The programme aims to connect with up to 200 schools in 3 regions across the UK. Working with Oxford United in Oxfordshire, Coventry Rugby Club in Warwickshire and Doncaster Rovers in Yorkshire – the Talent Factory programme will encompass a range of programmes working with local schools to identify and develop life skills in young people.
Nick Rayner, Managing Director of Unipart Consumer Logistics Multi Client Operations, added, “Today is not only about giving these young people an opportunity to learn more about a globally successful logistics organisation first hand, using problem based challenges to solve – but also promotes team based skills and healthy lifestyle choices – which are, as we all know, keys to being happy”
Rayner continued “We hope to see some of these students back for a week of work experience later in 2013, and then who knows…we could be looking at our apprentices for 2014!”
This was echoed by Simon McEvoy from The Oxford Academy, who said “We have a hugely enthusiastic and talented group of people here, who have the potential to bring skills and ideas into the local Oxfordshire community that we haven’t even dreamt of yet. Today is a great opportunity for them to understand and experience the challenges and complexities of a major global organisation”
Oxford United, emphasised this when Chris Lowes, Community Officer, commented “This is a great opportunity for young people to get first hand experience of something different and exciting. It’s a great tribute to Unipart that they can make these facilities available to young people from the local community with a view that they may be the employees of tomorrow.”