Young people inspired by Orphans of Koombu

Taking part in Buxton International Festival’s opera The Orphans of Koombu will have inspired young people to make better choices about their future, said one the region’s Local Enterprise Partnership Enterprise coordinators.

Emily Carter promoted the project among the network of High Peak and Derbyshire Dales schools that she works with on behalf of D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and Careers & Enterprise Company– Enterprise Adviser Network, a ‘national network which connects and schools and colleges with employers and careers programme providers and supports them to work together to provide young people with effective and high-quality encounters with the world of work’.

“They have really enjoyed the opportunity – I’ve seen tons of posts on social media from schools regarding their young people’s involvement and how the team worked with local schools and shared their inspirational stories as to why they work in the world of opera,” said Emily, who heard about plans for the show at a Marketing Peak District and Derbyshire tourism event.

Emily promoted the opportunity to Career Leaders to encourage students to take part in the opera which was written in South Africa at the end of the Apartheid regime to tell a story of truth and reconciliation in a divided society.

Six secondary schools, a youth choir and a drama group performed Orphans as part of the Festival in Buxton Opera House in July.

“When you look at the skills young people can develop in a creative industry, the importance is evident in the increase in confidence that you see – I’ve seen this from students in the past who have then gone on to coach peers and lead groups in the same way,” said Emily.

“D2N2 LEP wants careers inspiration for our future workforce,” said Emily. “We want to inspire young people to make well informed choices about their education, training and careers in the future economy. Projects like Koombu are all helping to do this, especially where curriculum links are made as young people see the relation between what they learn in school and the world of work and the types of careers available, which can have positive impacts on their attainment and career aspirations. They are nurturing and engaging for young people as they are able to develop their confidence, be more engaged and gain access to opportunities they might not have had before, and inspire them to pursue what they enjoy.”

The Department for Education’s Career Strategy (2017) states “We need to move towards a culture of having the right advice, in the right place, at the right time – backed up by the experiences with employers and educators that make a difference.” Schools aim to reach this by meeting all eight of the Gatsby Benchmarks, a framework of best practice for schools and colleges careers education.

The Careers and Enterprise Company, who implement the Enterprise Adviser Network through LEP’s in the UK, state that “Business and employers have a pivotal role in giving young people the opportunity to explore their options and succeed in the world of work. The resilience they can build up which stays with them through their next steps and future careers is empowering them to reach their own ambitions. And that’s important for any aspect of life.”

For more information about working with Buxton International Festival, please contact Joanne Williams at