Year 10 students at Dame Elizabeth Cadbury Technology College have won this year's ‘Birmingham International Airport Communication Award’.

The students beat off stiff competition to win the award thanks to what the judges described as the ‘excellent’ communication skills they demonstrated during an ethical trading project with a local motor dealer.

Students from the school in Bournville received their award at the Partnership Awards ceremony, organised by Birmingham and Solihull Education Business Links. The ceremony celebrates the value of links between education and the world of work and was attended by more than a hundred representatives from schools and businesses across Birmingham and Solihull. 

Now, fellow students from the school will be using the prize money to establish a stall in school selling Fair Trade fruit, snacks and other items. This builds on their work in Business Enterprise lessons in which they researched the issue surrounding the illegal trade in ‘blood diamonds’, developing posters, handouts and even a rap to raise awareness of the issue.
 
Teacher James McCormick, said: “We’re delighted to receive the Airport’s support. By recognising the students’ efforts in this way, they are helping to build the students’ communication skills and their self-confidence, as well as enabling them to develop their interest in fair trade issues and ethical business practices.

"All of this will stand them in good stead when they leave school and enter the business world for themselves. It’s a real investment in the future.”

Birmingham Airport’s Community Affairs Manager, Andy Holding, said: “The Airport is a great believer in the value of close ties between schools and businesses as one of the best ways of helping prepare students for the realities of life after school.

"Dame Elizabeth Cadbury were worthy winners of this year’s award and it’s a measure of the students’ maturity that they chose to invest their prize money in further developing their understanding of ethical business practices.”
 
The pupils’ week-long project saw the group undertake a number of activities aimed at giving them an insight into the car industry, including research and development, manufacturing, ICT and retailing, and was supported by a host of companies.

As well as loaning cars, staff from Bicknells Vauxhall Dealership came into the school to help pupils develop ideas and offer professional help in marketing a new car.