Orbit: “A teacher’s perspective”

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Orbit has worked with over 130 schools from Glasgow to London. We caught up with a few teachers to hear their feedback, and what they would say to other teachers thinking about joining.

A career in teaching can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling professions that one undertakes. However, with increased workloads and slashed budgets, teachers are finding it difficult to offer extracurricular programmes to help their students enter positive destinations. Surely, there must be a solution?

Sadly, we’re hearing the same issues being raised by the teachers we work with across the UK. Workloads are heavy, budgets are strained, bright ideas get caught in bureaucracy, and students miss out on fantastic opportunities as a result. Does this sound familiar?

These problems are relatively easy to solve. Training providers that offer enrichment, training, work experience, and extra-curricular activities should factor the teacher’s experience into their proposition. It shouldn’t take a teacher 3 hours to administrate a programme, have it approved by the senior leadership team, make timetable changes, arrange assemblies, book transport arrangements, and then pay an invoice at the end. 

One of the big problems with extra curricular programmes is the risk of students dropping out. Schools that pay for programmes are losing money when a student leaves a programme before it’s completion, and training providers should ensure that they retain the interest of the students they work with.

Finally, the programmes offered by extra-curricular providers should really work, and really make a massive difference to the students involved. The careers programmes offered in school should be energetic, enriching, captivating, and of course, “instagramable“.

We believe that it is easy to achieve all of the above. Orbit believes in creating “best in class” programmes, that are easy to administrate, and that genuinely change lives.

  • Cameron (pictured) secured a job in the Government’s Asset Management department just three months into working with Orbit. Mr Latimer, from Bo’ness Academy, was “amazed by how much Cameron’s confidence has grown in such a short space of time”.
  • Glasgow Orbiteers got the chance to meet one of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs, Billionaire Jim McColl OBE. One Orbiteer said that meeting Mr McColl was “one of the most significant experiences” they’ve had.

What is Orbit’s Accelerator Programme?

Orbit is the UK’s only accelerator programme for 16-19 year old Orbiteers. We support school students to launch real businesses (self-employed) and secure real jobs in the industries of tomorrow.

Each school can send up to 15 students to the programme. Over a twelve-month period, we’ll provide exclusive workshops, one-to-one mentoring, access to our online training content, and access to the UK’s leading business and political figures. With this support, we’re supporting seventeen year old students to build six-figure businesses before their 18th birthday, and secure jobs in emerging fields (Artificial Intelligence, Digital Marketing, etc).

Every Orbiteer we work with will keep all the money they earn from their businesses/jobs, whilst developing the CV, networks, mindset, and skills that are essential for success. Each Orbiteer is guaranteed to leave the programme with a positive destination and a clear plan of their future.

We receive thousands of applications for spaces on the programme, and we welcome new Orbiteers to the programme every month. Orbit is a rolling programme, which means the content repeats itself every 12-months. This means that regardless of when an Orbiteer joins the programme, they’ll always get through all of the content.

Finally, all the sessions take place after school is finished. Orbiteers from schools across each city we operate in travel into the city centre for our monthly training sessions for one evening per month. We’ll send you monthly updates on their progress, and you’ll notice the massive improvements in their employment prospects.

  • Billionaire entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter shares his life story with Orbiteers in 2016.
  • Ciara works with a team of Orbiteers from five schools to brainstorm solutions to a business problem.

What role does the school play in the programme?

Schools act as recruitment arms for our accelerator. Teachers can sign up to Orbit with just two clicks of the mouse, and we’ll do all the administration work. You can opt to have one of our team visit the school and deliver a 20-minute talk to an assembly, you can show our promotional video at an assembly, or you can simply nominate the students you’d like us to work with. We’ll also provide posters, booklets, and other materials for the students in the school.

When we have the students, we’ll begin sending you monthly updates on their progress and development. There’s no need to arrange transport, rearrange timetables, or spend hours processing administration work. It’s super simple.

So….eh…. how much does it cost? :-/

Orbit won’t cost you a penny. The Accelerator Programme is free. 

Orbit is a Social Enterprise, and we don’t take donations (or taxpayer’s money) for our work. We have businesses sponsor your students to participate in the programme, and in return, we give the businesses a package of exclusive benefits.

It costs Orbit £1000 to put an Orbiteer through the programme for 12-months. Each Orbiteer is given training to secure two sponsors for their space on the programme.  The sponsorship is paid by local businesses, and each business commits to paying £13.99 per month, over 36-months, in sponsorship contributions.

In return, we give the business owners unlimited access to our Life Story events, where they meet and learn from billionaire entrepreneurs and leading politicians. Normally, these events cost £140+ per ticket, however by sponsoring an Orbiteer, the business get access to as many life story events as they like for just £13.99 per month.

Most Orbiteers are fully sponsored within two weeks of joining the programme. Securing sponsors is a really easy process, and our team support them every step of the way. We don’t want sponsorship to become a barrier to participating, therefore we offer comprehensive support to help the Orbiteers secure their sponsors. 

  • Orbiteers can win prizes including “dinner with a billionaire” at our monthly award shows.
  • Orbiteers receive monthly mentoring sessions from business experts.

What do teachers say?

We’ve worked with hundreds of teachers across the UK, and we strive to make their lives easier when participating in Orbit’s accelerator programme.

Mr Latimer, from Bo’ness Academy, began working with Orbit in 2018. With the consent of headteacher Mr Dougan, the school nominated five students to join the Accelerator Programme. One of the Orbiteers from Bo’ness Academy, Cameron, secured a job with the Government’s asset management department within three months of joining the programme.

Mr Latimer said “I know Cameron has really enjoyed the work he has done with @orbitincubator and it has been great to see his confidence grow so much in such a short space of time.” 

Mrs Neil, from Greenfaulds High School, said that she “wouldn’t think twice” about recommending the programme to other schools. She highlighted that “all the students that participated enjoyed a very positive experience. Even if they didn’t want to launch a business, the skills and experience gained will last a lifetime”.

Mrs Mortimer, from Williamwood High School worked with Orbit in 2016. Students from the school launched clothing businesses, video production agencies, and even a surround sound speaker system. She said “after signing up, the administration was handled by Orbit’s team, and we enjoyed monthly progress reports on our Orbiteers.”

Mrs Methven from Saint Benedict’s High School (one of the first schools we worked with) said that the programme will create “positive and lasting change” with the students, and that “getting to meet Sir Tom Hunter made an impression on the students.” Bailey, one of our first Orbiteers, still has his business running four years after leaving the programme.

  • Our Manchester Gaff is based in Beetham Tower. We are perfectionists and love choosing the best locations to run our programmes from.
  • We like making things simple. Getting started with Orbit takes just two clicks.

How do I get involved?

Get started today with just two clicks. After you apply to Orbit, you’ll receive an automated email where you can book a short ten minute induction call with our team. You’ll then have the option of booking one of our team to speak at an assembly, or you can nominate students to join the programme.

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Orbit Enterprise Education Ltd. is a registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee (Social Enterprise) in Scotland. SC523144.