ELBA breaks Guinness World Record for the largest employability skills lesson
Written by Hannah Leiper
It’s not everyday you wake up, go to work and turn to your colleagues to say ‘Today we’re going to break a Guinness World Record’. However, this is exactly what staff at ELBA did on the 30th October 2019. After a few months of hard work, the day had come to attempt the world record for the ‘Largest Employability Skills Lesson’.
Eleven schools from around East London, including Lister School, Greatfields School, Sarah Bonnell, Eden Park, Little Ilford, Kingsford, Sanders School, St Edwards, New City College, Willowfield and NewVIc, travelled to the grand venue of East Wintergardens in Canary Wharf, where current record stood at 312 participants. With ELBA’s 30th Birthday celebrations in the evening it was a fantastic way to kick off the day.
The event was a great success with 353 students in the room. They worked in groups, learning about the steps to getting a job as well as how to pitch themselves to employees. We finished the session off with a true or false quiz that clearly demonstrated that the students had been paying attention throughout and created a real buzz around the room.
It was now time to find out if we had broken the record. Even though we knew we had the participants in the room, more that 90% of the room had to have been participating for the record to be broken (anyone who has worked with students knows how difficult this is!) Our Guinness World Record adjudicator, in his blazer with his clipboard came up on stage to announce that we had smashed the record with 330 participants, very fitting for our 30th Birthday.
As well as breaking the record, ELBA wanted to ensure that the workshop still had a high level of impact for the students in the room. We were able to place 24 volunteers from three companies; Barclays, Linklaters and Canary Wharf Group who all helped to keep the students engaged throughout. After collating the feedback, a fantastic 91% of participants felt as though they were now better equipped to prepare for an interview. One student was particularly happy saying:
“I learned that I have a lot of potential, I can accomplish anything and I should never give up.”
A massive thank you to all who were involved in the attempt – all ELBA staff who were involved both on the day and before, Canary Wharf Group, Linklaters and Barclays for collectively providing the venue and volunteers, all the schools for giving up their time to come to and participate in the event and Guinness World Records for giving us this opportunity and helping us every step of the way.