Gillian takes business to school

A TOP businesswoman is celebrating a successful year.

A TOP businesswoman is celebrating a successful year.

Even by her own exacting standards, Gillian Bulman – chief executive of two education business partnerships in the region – has had a highly successful year.

Newcastle Education Business Partnership (EBP) is celebrating its third National Accreditation for Quality Assurance, has been identified as one of the best EBPs in the country and is now being used as a bench mark for other EBPs to be measured against.

It has also been approved as a regional consultant for enterprise, recently won the National Enterprise Award, and has achieved its third Investors in People Award against the new standards.

And if heading such a successful business were not enough, Gillian is now also chief executive of Blue Venture, the new EBP for South Tyneside and the vehicle for thousands of young people to benefit from many innovative and exciting projects.

Blue Venture and Newcastle EBP develop mutually beneficial links between business and schools, bringing a work-based dimension to the curriculum.

Their varied projects are genuinely beneficial to young people, while the businesses involved benefit from staff development and influence on the curriculum.

“Our programmes bring out the best in young people, allowing them to find skills that genuinely prepare them for work. Employers are very supportive of that,” says Gillian.

“They raise young people’s confidence and self-esteem and increase their motivation to achieve.

“We want them to take ownership of their own progression by giving them exciting new opportunities.”

South Tyneside Blue Venture should follow the success of Newcastle EBP, which provided programmes for more than 20,000 school pupils, drawing on the expertise of 40 organisations and running more than 100 different employability skills projects during the academic year 2006-07.

Local businesses donated more than £70,000 of goods and services to Newcastle schools through EBP programmes in the year 2006-07, with support from many companies including Newcastle Building Society, Barratt Homes, Newcastle University, Newcastle Dental Hospital, Integral, Greggs, and 3663 Booker.

She added: “Good qualifications are important, but while they might get you the interview, they won’t necessarily get you the job.

“It is most important that people have skills; that is what our programmes are all about.”

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