The scheme was established in 2012 by two Old Wellingtonians, Nick Cowley and Rupert Taylor. The aim of the scheme is to mentor, and provide work experience, for a select group of Academy leavers. As the Academy develops it is producing talented and increasingly well qualified leavers. However, the academy can rarely provide these leavers with the kind of career opportunities that would be available to an OW. The idea of the Momentum scheme is to use the OW network to help provide these opportunities.
This assistance largely takes the form of work experience. Many careers can only be accessed if the applicant can demonstrate appropriate work experience on their CV. But there is an inherent un-fairness in this system. Work experience is generally unpaid and as such it is only available students who can afford to spend weeks at a time working for free that can afford to gain the experience. Equally access to work experience requires a network of contacts, and in many cases, access to accommodation in London. The Momentum scheme exists to provide both the contacts required to access work experience opportunities, as well as the financial support needed to allow talented students to gain that experience.
Momentum is now a fully funded programme offering work experience packages to Academy students over the summer that they finish their A Levels, and ongoing support in the years after, as they progress through university, or the early stages of their career.
HOW DOES THE MOMENTUM SCHEME WORK?
We brief The Wellington Academy 6th form in February, select the candidates in May, and then structure a 2 week work experience programme which takes place in July – shortly after the completion of end of year exams.
After taking four students in 2012, the programme has now grown as the size of the sixth form at the Academy has grown and with it the number of appropriate candidates. By the summer of 2015 eighteen students benefited from a work experience programme and we expect at least 20 in summer 2016.
2013 saw the programme extended to include students from the Swindon Academy. This has continued and in 2016 we are beginning to work with a number of Old Marlburians with a view to expanding the scope of the Swindon element of the scheme. It has been hugely rewarding to bring the opportunity to another set of talented school leavers not least because of the network that is beginning to build and the friendships that have been initiated. It is hoped that overtime Momentum will lead to the establishment of an effective alumni network for both the Wellington and Swindon academies.
HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?
If you’d like to get involved we’d love to hear from you! Send us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org