By Andy Hirst

A project at a Huddersfield school gave pupils the chance to think about the hazards of air pollution and then hone their marketing skills.

The scheme saw 22 girls from the Netherhall Learning Campus in Rawthorpe having to come up with solutions to air pollution by encouraging more people to use electric vehicles instead of those powered by petrol or diesel.

They had to pitch their ideas to a Dragons’ Den-style panel and the best one was then given a marketing makeover by a professional marketing company to help the girls learn new skills.

It was part of a wider initiative by West Yorkshire Combined Authority for an Effective Transitions fund to support 180 disadvantaged female pupils aged 14 to raise aspirations and achieve higher level places in post-16 education training or apprenticeships.

Other organisations involved were Equans, owner of the nationwide GeniePoint electric vehicle charging network, and creative education provider IVE.

Members of the Equans EV Solutions team also gave workshops and presentations about the principles of marketing and how to successfully deliver a campaign to the Rawthorpe youngsters. The winning marketing campaign will feature on the GeniePoint social media.

Marcus Shufflebottom, assistant head at Netherhall Learning Campus, said: “More than ever it’s critical to support our most disadvantaged learners, giving them support and experiences from across a wide range of organisations.

“Equans’ partnership with the Effective Transition Fund has allowed our pupils to develop those key employability skills within a real-life marketing campaign.

“Their mentorship and support have already seen the girls gain in confidence, developing their team and critical thinking skills, as well as highlighting the positive environmental impact of electric cars.”

  • Andy Hirst runs his own freelance journalism, website content and blogging agency AH! PR and can be contacted on