This innovative and cutting edge curriculum offering is unique in Cumbria.
Beacon Hill, working with several significant local employers, is leading the way in aligning the school curriculum to the opportunities within and the needs of industry. From 2018 the Local Labour Market Aligned Curriculum (LLMAC) has seen what is taught in school specifically tailored to the interests and destinations of the students and the huge skills shortages in the local labour market. By 2022 there will be 60,000 people currently working in Cumbria who will come of retirement age. During this period there are only 15,000 school leavers to fill these jobs. This is at a time when many local firms wish to expand. As such the dramatic skills shortage is something Beacon Hill feels should be targeted with their curriculum.
Beacon Hill has developed relationships with local employers who are working with the school delivering Industry Projects. Each project lasts 6 weeks and students work with employers on real world problems using the employers specific technology or systems. These projects include the use of virtual reality, remote control robots and drones – all of which is linked to real job opportunities and skills shortages in West Cumbria.
Though some of these projects will be accredited in themselves all employers are grading students using an employability skills grid charting skills such as teamwork, communication, leadership and problem solving. This grid has been developed in conjunction with several national employers, the University of Cumbria, Lakes College and the LEP. When speaking to businesses these were the skills they sought in future employees and saw as more valuable than many GCSEs. We are seeing great results already from the Industry Projects. By the time students leave they will have taken part in 15 different projects with 15 different big local employers from Sellafield to the NHS.
Students will also study Engineering, delivered in conjunction with Lakes College and making use of the expertise and the millions of pounds worth of infrastructure and investment there. All students will study for a qualification called DEC! – Design; Engineer; Construct! In which the school has been sponsored by Gleeds Engineering.