Ten students from Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School & Sixth Form College have graduated from an innovative research work experience programme.

The Mini MBA programme has been piloted at the Blackburn secondary school, and supported by Darwen soft furnishings manufacturer Herbert Parkinson, Blackburn Rovers Community Trust and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

Mo Isap, who was named North West Enterprise Advisor of the Year recently, devised the programme together with University of Central Lancashire, Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School (TIGHS) and Inspira who deliver the Enterprise Adviser Network in Lancashire.

Asia Ali, Assistant Principal at TIGHS said, “Our guiding principle at TIGHS is for our young women to achieve educational excellence, have high aspirations and benefit from outstanding opportunities.

"The programme has certainly enriched our students with all of these prospects.”

The mini MBA focuses on the skills, experience and qualifications required by leading employers and prestigious universities. Students gain the expertise and opportunities of work experience but with the added advantage of boosting their academic skills through an individual research project connected to their career interests.

Kay Vaughan, Enterprise Co-Ordinator for Inspira said, “To see this mini MBA in action has been amazing.”

“This programme reflects the vision, drive and partnerships we are looking for within the Enterprise Adviser Network.”

Ayah Shah, a Year 12 pupil at TIGHS, has completed the qualification. She said: “The mini MBA has truly offered us a valuable opportunity. It has been an eye-opening experience where we were able to combine both the practical and theory aspects of business and gain a variety of transferable skills that will help transition us from secondary education to the world of work.”

Students will be able to submit their final report and presentation and receive an additional qualification called the AQA Extended Project Qualification. This is recognised as a high-value qualification by universities and carries additional UCAS points.

MP for Blackburn, Kate Hollern, was a guest at the TIGHS pupils’ Mini MBA graduation.

Kate Hollern MP said, “It is vital that young people engage in activities which fully prepare them for the world of work. Congratulations to all the students who have taken part, and thank you to the partners who have made this possible.

"The Mini MBA will undoubtedly prove to be a very valuable qualification as these pupils continue their education and training journey. It was a pleasure to be present at the girls’ graduation.”