Languages mean business for West Midlands students

Mr Imed Belhouche of Small Heath School (Birmingham) and pupils at working on a group activity at the Fashion International launch

Over 250 students from schools across the West Midlands made languages their business when they met an expert from the international fashion industry thanks to the LinkedUp Award scheme, part of the Links into Languages programme (Aston is the Links into Languages
Centre for the West Midlands region).   

Kim Knowles MBE, Director of KRK Associates Ltd, launched ‘Fashion International’, a new project helping students to understand the importance of languages in the world of fashion.

Pupils from five schools across Birmingham, Shropshire and Warwickshire had chance to put their French and German skills into action by taking part in a range of fashion related challenges.  These were Idsall School in Shropshire; Broadway School (Perry Barr), Small Heath School, and Holyhead School  (Handsworth) in  Birmingham and Atherstone School, in Warwickshire.

Kim, who was awarded an MBE by the Queen for his services to the fashion industry, was delighted with the response to the workshop and presentation. He said; “It was a real pleasure to be able to talk to the pupils about my real life experiences and the huge importance that languages play in the fashion industry. I had chance to develop my language skills at school, which helped me to work in France, Germany and Scandinavia and build an exciting and rewarding career in the fashion industry. The pupils that I’ve met were all a real credit to the school and their teachers and no doubt many have exciting careers ahead of them.”

Sally Wood, Head of Languages at Idsall School said; "Our Year 9 students thoroughly enjoyed the launch event and it was great to see them all working together, using their language skills. There is a real buzz around this project and we feel it has made a real difference to our students' engagement in language learning."

The LinkedUp Award scheme is designed to encourage students to become involved in a range of innovative projects to help develop foreign language skills to improve their changes of future employability.

For further information, please contact Satu Raitala-Hird (LSS), Regional Manager Links into Languages West Midlands at s.raitala@aston.ac.uk or on ext 3111.



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