The Burberry Foundation is hoping to inspire hundreds of students in Whitby and Scarborough to take up careers in the creative industries in the first of a series of workshops to be held in schools throughout Yorkshire.
The students will be tasked with designing a trench coat for female pioneers of the past and present, to coincide with International Women’s Day tomorrow.
Workshops will be held this week at Caedmon College and Eskdale School in Whitby, and Graham School and George Pindar School in Scarborough.
The workshop is inspired by Burberry’s founder, Thomas Burberry, who invented the innovative fabric gabardine in 1879. Yorkshire is the home of the iconic Burberry trench coat, which is manufactured in Castleford using material produced at Burberry Mill in Keighley.
Mr Burberry went on to clothe pioneers and adventurers such as 20th century polar explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton, and pilot, Betty Kirby-Green, who broke the world record for a return flight from London to Cape Town alongside her co-pilot Arthur Clouston in 1937.
The students will be tasked with designing their own trench coats for female pioneers of the past and present, such as tennis champion Serena Williams, female education campaigner Malala Yousafzai and physicist Marie Curie, in the same week as International Women’s Day on Thursday March 8.
Recent research from the Education and Employers Taskforce shows that young people who have four or more high quality encounters with employers are 86 per cent less likely to be unemployed or not in work or training once they leave school.
A series of workshops created by the Burberry Foundation and education charity the Ideas Foundation will explore developments in material science such as nanotechnology, printable electronics and augmented reality.
They will also learn about the many career opportunities available in the creative industries from fashion design and garment technology to communications, sound engineering and production.
The workshops are a partnership between the Burberry Foundation, the Ideas Foundation charity and The Careers & Enterprise Company.
Heather MacRae, managing director of the Ideas Foundation, said: “North Yorkshire schools are getting an out of this world opportunity to find out about a range of careers in the creative industries. The exciting brief on pioneering fashion is being set by the Burberry team. Students will learn about textiles, marketing, event planning and design during the hands on one day events.”
Claudia Harris, chief executive of the Careers & Enterprise Company, added: “We are delighted to support this fantastic initiative which sees the Burberry Foundation working closely together with schools to support young people and help prepare them for the world of work.
"We know that young people need encounters with employers in order to gain meaningful insights, make informed choices about their futures and develop necessary skills for the future workforce. This is a great example of what can be achieved.”
The partnership between the Burberry Foundation and the Careers & Enterprise Company is in line with Burberry’s responsibility agenda. A principal goal is to support a million people in the communities that sustain the company’s business and the wider luxury industry.
The Burberry Foundation was set up in 2008 by Burberry Group as an independent charity for general charitable purposes and grant-making.