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Academy helps to develop young leaders of the future

By West Briton  |  Posted: January 30, 2014

  • The group of students joining the Young Leaders' Academy at Cornwall College Camborne.

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CORNWALL College Camborne has teamed up with local secondary schools to help develop potential young leaders within the county.

The Young Leaders' Academy programme is designed to identify, support and develop ambitious local school pupils aged 15 and upwards and equip them with leadership and mentoring skills that will help prepare them for their lives after school.

Don Mackenzie, head of the college, said: "The programme runs over an intense four-week period and is designed to enhance their existing study in what is an already busy year with GSCE examinations.

"As a college we are very proud and excited to be able to provide an opportunity for ambitious school pupils to further their educational development.

"The programme provides the pupils with nationally recognised training which will not only help develop their personal potential, but also to boost their CVs, enhance university applications and overall improve their employability."

The short programme of study, which follows the nationally recognised Institute of Leadership and Management qualification modules, will be taught by Cornwall College Business lecturer John Devlin.

John told the students at their induction that the course will include "developing their own self-awareness of their working behaviour in order to develop their team-leading skills".

To assist this process, the programme includes a Belbin behaviour profile, which is a personality test popularly adopted in workplaces to highlight an individual's strengths and style of working.

This is the second time the programme has run after a hugely successful first programme at Cornwall College St Austell last year.

The students this time have been selected and recruited from secondary schools in the west of Cornwall.

Although each student has an interest in different academic areas, they all share the same goal of gaining team-leading skills to help them in their future careers.

One such student is 16-year-old school prefect Jamie Walmsley, from St Michael's School, based in Camborne, who said: "I am very interested in starting this course and really looking forward to it.

"I am keen to gain more experience and skills that will help me with managing people in the future."

Jamie, who is unsure of his future career aspirations but plans to go on to study business after school, added: "I think this course will really help with my future career choices as well as strengthening my future applications to universities."

For those students not interested in progressing to university, the qualification will help them to improve their CVs and overall employability.

One notable former student of Cornwall College who has put his team-leading skills to good use is the current NUS vice-president for further education, Joe Vinson.

Joe, who fully endorses the academy and its benefits for students, said: "All young people have the ability to be leaders and it's really exciting that this new course at Cornwall College is going that extra mile to equip talented students with skills to develop their leadership potential."

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