Scotland’s Enterprising Schools recently had the opportunity to sit down with Gary Condie from Glasgow City Council’s Employability and Skills partnership team to discuss the opportunities available to establishments across the authority, the advantages of partnership working and the importance of enterprise in education.
SES: What is your role within Glasgow City Council?
GC: “I’m a Principal Officer, part of the Employability and Skills partnership team. There’s three Principal Officers and our role is to help make our young people more employable. My area of responsibility is the enterprise and employability part of it. My job at the moment covers work placements, work experience, health and safety as well as trying to create programmes that are going to encourage young entrepreneurs and igniting enterprising skills in young people – for example: making movies, learning about animation, news reporting as well as the social enterprise work we do.”
SES: Can you tell us about some of the projects that your team delivers to schools across the city?
GC: “Our flagship programme is Determined to Make Movies. It is a programme in partnership with the GFT, EdICT – our own training wing – Into Film and the Scottish Film Council. It was started in 2007 through additional funding we got from the Scottish Government to buy equipment. The idea is simple – the young people identify a film story to do with a theme we give them, they then make that movie, edit it together and we have a big celebration event at the GFT or at Silverburn Cineworld once a year. Awards are presented and recognition given to other elements of the film process.
“We’ve now developed this in to animation as well. We’re onto our fourth version of Determined to Animate where again, same format, teachers submit their idea, we look at the applications, we have 18 sets of equipment, we get them in to do some training. They then go back and train their young people, the young people then make their movie and we then have our celebration event. It’s actually quite exciting, we judge it live and last year we did it at the Science Centre. So all 300 kids sitting in the hall will see their movies on the big screen, they’ll then watch another movie, and afterwards we’ll come back in and do the awards.
“The other project that has an employability theme to it is Determined to Report which is a programme for my S5/S6 young people who display an interest in journalism. We’re working with Bauer Academy at Radio Clyde, the Reuters Group and with News UK. In addition to working with a lot of local journalists to deliver masterclasses to the young people. The young people then have the opportunity to spend five days at Radio Clyde looking at written journalism, radio journalism, TV journalism and, at the end of it, they put together their own radio station event. They also have the chance to take part in masterclasses at the GFT being a film critic. There’s also a work experience placement we’re doing with News UK. And from that, a lot of the young people who stuck with the programme last year are away to very successful university places – which is brilliant.
“Our other programme is linked with Social Enterprise Academy. It’s a free programme to schools. (Social Enterprise Academy) work with the schools, they work with the teachers, they work with the young people and this culminates in a Dragon’s Den type format, which we host in February each year. The young people present to an esteemed panel of judges to win money towards their project they pitch. As you know, Social Enterprise Academy are looking for an enterprise with a cause in mind and young people work very, very passionately for them. Youth Philanthropy Initiative are involved in another big enterprise programme we do, it was in 9 schools a few years ago – it’s now in 20 schools – and again because the young people are fighting for their chosen charity, within their school, they put a heck of a lot of work into it.
“We’re all about providing opportunities.”
SES: Why do you think enterprise is important to education? And how do you feel it supports wider policy agendas like DYW?
GC: “I came to this job after I was the enterprise person in my primary school. It was all about empowering my young people to be able to do what they wanted to do… Which is what DYW is. I look at enterprise as being that wider world of enterprise, of giving young people opportunities to display their knowledge, their skills – it’s not just about making money and the selling part of it. Enterprise is the employability part of it. So, my work gives them transferable skills and even though they’re making movies, that’s not to say I expect them to go and get a job in the film industry; I expect them to take these enterprising skills and use them in other areas.”
SES: Do you engage with other organisations to help with the delivery of enterprise activities? If so, could you tell us about some of them?
GC: “Yes, it’s a huge part of what we do. The way the council now works, and it works effectively, is by engaging with experts in their chosen fields.
“The reporting programme costs me absolutely nothing because everybody who works with me on this has come to me and said ‘how can we help?’
“We work with an organisation called Behind the Noise on a creative programme for young people learning about how to get into the music industry. That’s through at Doghouse Studios and replicates a real life situation for the young people. It’s a year programme, it is eight different workshops, and it’s in 14 different schools. It’s a really good programme.
“Other partners we’ve got at the moment: We’ve got Bauer Media for the Radio Clyde stuff, we’ve got Social Enterprise Academy, we’ve got Young Enterprise Scotland, we have YPI, EdICT along with Into Film and other organisations like that.
“Teachers and young people like to listen to the experts.”
SES: If a school wants to take part in programmes like these, how do they get involved?
GC: “It’s all through us. We send out emails, we put it on our GO Glasgow website saying ‘we’re now looking for nominations for this, are you interested?’”