Virtual Summer Academy

What will you do this summer?


The work-wise Virtual Summer Academy 2020

Building Your Skills and CV


Gaining qualifications is a key stepping stone to future employment, but qualifications
alone do not guarantee success in finding, keeping and progressing in employment.

Also critical are those key skills and personal attributes that employers are looking for.
Do you know—and have you got—what it takes to become a valued and indispensable employee?

Summer Academy has been designed and is supported by employers determined to help you better prepare for adult life and a successful career.


For young people (aged 14 to 18) keen to get a head start and a real taste and experience of the world of work.


For parents keen to help their son or daughter improve their employment and education prospects.


For schools keen to encourage students who would benefit from an introduction to the world of work outside school (contributing towards Gatsby Benchmarks 5 & 6).


Open to individuals and school/community groups to attend. Bespoke programmes can be delivered to individual schools - ask us for details.


(4 days - Monday to Thursday, 2 hours per day virtual sessions plus follow up tasks)


An online programme and tasks held in the summer holidays introducing young people to the world of work in a fun and interactive way. This year's Summer Academy is being run on a virtual basis due to current Covid-19 restrictions.


2020 Summer Academy programmes:

  • Monday 3rd to Thursday 6th August 2020 AM or PM
  • Monday 10th to Thursday 13th August 2020 AM or PM
  • Monday 17th to Thursday 20th August 2020 AM or PM




Day 1 (Monday) - Broadening Horizons - Introduction to industry and the world of work including focus on first impressions and communication skills


Day 2 (Tuesday) - An Experience of Industry - company-based session including virtual tour and activity with guest presenters introducing different aspects of how a business operates and a chance to 'Walk in my Shoes' with apprentices. Also with a focus on character skills.


Day 3 (Wednesday) - Essential Skills and Challenge - The session includes creative and leadership skills and challenges.


Day 4 (Thursday) - What Employers Want Session - Online conference where participants get a chance to understand what employers are looking for and practise interview preparation and skills. The session finishes with an online graduation ceremony. 


Delivered by: The work-wise Foundation


work-wise is an employer inspired and led initiative to support the development of young people so they have the knowledge, skills, aptitude and opportunities for employment.

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2019 Summer Academy graduation pictures

Week 1 - w/c 29th July - Cutlers' Hall, Sheffield Graduation

Week 2 - w/c 5th August - Mexborough Business Centre Graduation

Week 3 - w/c 12th August - Cutlers' Hall, Sheffield Graduation

Week 4 - w/c 19th August - Cutlers' Hall, Sheffield Graduation

Creating Opportunities – From Summer Academy to Apprentice – Jay Smith

16-year-old Jay Smith from South Normanton, near Chesterfield started in Summer 2017 as an Apprentice for Chesterfield based Chrome Platers, Zachrome. Jay is studying with NLT Training and at the end of 2 years will hold an NVQ Level 2 in Mechanical Engineering.  In his first six months with the company he has been working in the gun drilling and grinding departments and will move around the different departments learning a range of engineering skills.


In 2015 a 14-year-old Jay then a student at Frederick Gent School attended The work-wise Foundation Summer Camp during his school holidays which included completing a week’s work placement with Chesterfield based engineering company, Zachrome.


Jay wanted to attend Summer Camp to gain some experience of the world of work and engineering and already had a whole shed set up at home as his workshop. work-wise placed Jay with Zachrome in Chesterfield who are a leading UK Chrome and Industrial Bronze Plating company with over 70 years’ experience supplying OEM specification parts. Jay was very keen and engaged and whilst on placement he experienced CNC, Lathe, grinding, etching, assembly, chrome plating and much more.  


John Barber, CEO and Co-founder of The work-wise Foundation said “When I visited him on his placement Jay was so enthusiastic – his words were Brilliant and Amazing - much more than I ever expected.”


On the whole experience Jay said “It is an experience never to be forgotten. There is nothing that I would change, it is simply the best experience of a lifetime.”  Reflecting on the experience now Jay added that the 2 days employability skills programme run by work-wise at the start of Summer Camp learning about Health & Safety, communication and interview skills were invaluable.


“We never imagined it would have such a positive outcome. My wife Agnieszka and myself are very proud of what Jay has done and very grateful for your help” added Jay’s father Andy.


The Company were equally impressed and Zachrome’s Manging Director, Andrew Colton would have been happy to offer him an Apprenticeship there and then had he been old enough! They kept in touch and Jay went back to work for them during the holidays


John Barber adds “We have many very keen (if initially nervous) students who attend our programmes and Jay was amongst the most enthusiastic and positive to learn and succeed and I remember Andy and the team at Zachrome being really impressed. The fact that the company kept in touch and two years on have offered him employment is a testament to his attitude and enthusiasm. It always gives us a great buzz when young people like Jay live up to expectations and it just shows how those companies willing to invest in young people can reap the rewards and business benefits.”


Summer Academy will be running again in July and August 2019, to express interest please email j[email protected]


"It was such a fantastic, beneficial experience and I am very grateful.  It was the best way to spend two weeks in my summer holidays! It was very beneficial.”                                                                                                           Georgiana, Student


“Thank you so much for assisting Jake through the placement, I haven't seen him so happy and engaged. Jake is seriously considering an apprenticeship now, which I am really supportive of.”                                                                       Liz, Parent

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