Employability students win National Young Enterprise Award

As part of their employability programme students at Henshaws Specialist College in Harrogate, Yorkshire, formed a Young Enterprise group. Eco Threads, their environmentally friendly t-shirt printing business, is now a triple Young Enterprise award winner.

National and regional success

Eco Threads secured a national award for best advertisement and Yorkshire & Humber regional awards for best trade stand and best company.

The Regional Finals for the Young Enterprise Competition for Yorkshire and Humber took place in Hull.  Teams competed by displaying their trade stand, delivering a short formal presentation to an invited audience, and being quizzed by a judging panel.  The national competition saw Eco Threads create an online advert for their product.  Over 50 teams from throughout the UK took part, so securing the award for first place was a massive achievement.

The awards are a well-deserved result for the group who began Eco Threads last September as part of their college employability programme.

Eco Threads were absolutely awesome at the Regional Finals. Their presentation was amazing. They are a credit to themselves and the college – an inspiration."

Jill Tinsley, Young Enterprise Manager for North Yorkshire

Employability and entrepreneurship

Supported by Work Experience Coordinator Lee Gray the students came up with the name Eco Threads as well as a logo, business plan and marketing and sales strategy.

The Eco Threads team allocated individual roles according to each person’s strengths and interests.  This included sourcing the raw materials online, creating the designs using new computer software and using a t-shirt press to print the personalised designs onto the clothes.

Student Alfie enjoyed the design aspect of being part of the Eco Threads group. “I like working with Lee to find good pictures on the internet that we can use in our designs.  I like making the designs on the computer and being creative.”, said Alfie.

I managed the finances. I ordered t-shirts from our supplier and kept track of how much money we were spending and also how much we made from sales. I’d like to do a job like this after college."

Eco Threads team member David

Team work and communication

Good team work was a vital part of the success of the business.  Daily tasks were shared amongst the group and each member of the team was aware of their own responsibilities and the importance of working and communicating with others. Team meetings at the end of the day ensured any issues could be dealt with quickly and helped things to run smoothly.

Jake was responsible for ensuring the suppliers delivered the correct order, he said:  “I check that the sizes of t-shirts delivered are what we ordered and check the delivery note.”

Through our Young Enterprise group we create an environment where our students learn about the type of business they could get involved with when they leave college.  It’s about expanding the students’ thoughts and views on what jobs they can do.  And of course it’s about running a viable business that makes money!"

Lee Gray, Henshaws Work Experience Coordinator

Find out more about our employability programmes available at Henshaws College in Harrogate or the new Henshaws Bradford Centre.

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