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School's Out

Genres: News & Actuality, Documentary Series

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About the Show

School's Out is a British documentary series which examines the best way of providing students with the skills needed for the 21st century workplace.

The series premiered in South Africa on DStv's BBC World channel on Tuesday 8 April 2008, at 21h30. There are four half-hour episodes in the series.

Repeats

Wednesdays: 11h30
Thursdays: 17h30
Fridays: 03h30, 09h30

Synopsis

As the world’s economic order changes, the pressure on countries to provide a skilled workforce becomes more acute. School’s Out travels to some of the world’s leading economies to find out how they are training their workers for the 21st century.

China is fast becoming the biggest economy on the planet. India is not far behind. So how will the USA and Europe compete?

And what of the teenagers themselves as they prepare for this important rite of passage – from student to worker? What are their expectations and ambitions?

Around the world there is a momentum towards giving vocational training more kudos. But cultural attitudes often get in the way. School’s Out will also assess the impact of class and snobbery as vocational training attempts to move out of the shadow of academic studies.

Through the personal stories of “school leavers” the series will look at solutions to a global question – what is the best way of providing students with the skills needed for the 21st century workplace?

The series consultant is Mike Baker, former BBC education correspondent, who has been analysing and reporting on the subject for over 25 years.

Episodes

Episode 1: A Hard Day's Wok

As the world’s economic order changes the pressure on countries to provide a skilled workforce becomes more acute.

China is fast becoming the biggest economy on the planet. India is not far behind. So how will the USA and Europe compete?

The film in China follows the fortunes of chef Lui Long, who has just got a job at Beijing’s brand new Jockey Club.

He hopes to be part of the economic revolution that is sweeping through China – and he wants to be part of what they hope will be a successful Olympic Games.

Episode 2: California Dreamin'

School's Out travels to California and follows a trainee linesman, Chris Cox.

Working with high voltages is really dangerous. He has to be super fit and totally focused on the job and, of course, he needs a good head for heights because for much of the time he will be working up 60 feet poles.

A strong set of boots with sharp metal crampons and a thick leather belt that allows him to lean out from the pole at 30 degrees are all he needs to get to the top.

Episode 3: The Piano Makers

Germany has a great tradition of piano making. For this, the third episode in the School’s Out series we go to the C Bechstein piano factory, which has been making instruments since 1853.

Craftsmen have passed the traditions of piano making down from generation to generation. Bechstein only takes on three new apprentices a year.

One of the latest recruits is Markus Heinze. We follow his development as he hones the skills needed to build some of the best pianos in the world.

Episode 4: High Flyers

India’s aviation industry is booming. With it’s glamour and adventure it attracts thousands of hopefuls. It’s not quite Bollywood but it's probably the next best thing.

Another 21,000 air stewards are expected to be trained over the next three years and one firm that’s going to play a large part in that is Frank Finn, India’s leading school for cabin crew.

Pooja Dhingra is one of the hopefuls. She’s won a coveted place at the school but now she has to work hard to prove she is one of the best.

Only one in five Frank Finn students will make the grade. The show follow Pooja’s progress as she finds out what it’s really like to cope with difficult passengers.

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