News‎ > ‎Academy News‎ > ‎

Employability Skills Course

posted 30 Jul 2013, 02:11 by Google Google   [ updated 30 Jul 2013, 02:11 ]
As the concern grows amongst Post 18 students about rising university tuition fees and the thought of being in years of debt, one school in Gloucestershire has come up with a creative way of helping those students, who do not want to go to university, to get a job.

Talking to such students, in many schools they feel like the forgotten ones – neglected because of their ‘lack of aspiration’ about applying to university. As competition for places gets tougher and cost of going increases, they most certainly do not lack ambition or aspiration – they are simply seeking an alternative way of gaining post 18 experience and qualifications – through direct employment and further vocational based training.

Talking to many businesses, as we do regularly, many are more interested in taking on students post A Levels now rather than graduates, who often have a more inflated idea of what they would like to/should be earning as a result of gaining a degree – which is often not relevant to the employment they are seeking!

“In the Gloucester area, we know of many businesses that are actively looking to recruit post 18 – looking at students who do not want to/cannot afford to go to university, but want to continue their education and training in a work setting. We have developed a course aimed at improving their employability skills and confidence and bringing them into direct contact with businesses looking for students just like them” Stuart Langworthy

We employed Giddy Heights to plan and run a 10 week course in partnership with local businesses “It has been a real privilege to work with these young people and see them grow in confidence, skill and understanding.  I am indebted to the businesses who have contributed so much to enrich this course with real world situations and training. Also, in the current education climate, it is refreshing to work with a school which has such a bold and forward looking approach to preparing its students for the world of work” Richard Giddy


The course was to be delivered over ten 2 hour sessions.

Gloucestershire First- How can we more effectively promote tourism in the county?

QHotels  and House of Fraser -  How can we promote good customer service?

Giddy Heights – How to win at interviews and sell your experience and skills

Ageas Insurance – Competency based interview skills followed by practice interviews

Endsleigh Insurance – improving interview skills followed by practice interviews

Gloucester City Council with John Rendle (business coach) – Self-employment and business start-up

At the end of each session the students reflected on the employability skills that they had developed and at the end of the course they presented their thoughts about the group’s and their individual journeyto the businesses.

“It was quite remarkable to see how far they have developed in 10 weeks – I was there at the start and to see the confidence and self-awareness at the end was really quite something” David Owen, GFirst

“We have been really impressed with the students and consider this an ideal opportunity to access potential young employees” Sophie Cordas, Endsleigh Insurance

“I was really pleased with how they responded to my session on competence based interviews and it provided me with invaluable feedback for my own training and development “ Dawn Hodges, Ageas.

“I was really worried about making presentations and having an interview but the course helped to build my confidence and I actually really enjoyed the interview at Ageas” Joanne Speakman

“The feedback I got from my interview at Endsleigh was fantastic and I came back to school really buzzing” Lucy Hurst

“This course has really opened my eyes about the employment opportunities at many of the larger local businesses” Sinead Smyth

“They have been a very interesting group to work with – some already have part-time jobs. Some completely lacked confidence and the thought of standing up and presenting their ideas to fellow students let alone a larger group, filled them with fear. They have all worked well together and have all made significant progress in developing their employability skills”

"The pioneering work that Millbrook Academy has led on has begun to fill the gap between schools and business and really opened up opportunities for those students who have aspirations and ambitions outside of the traditional academic routes.  We know that our economy needs a large cohort of young people that will address this particular skills gap and this programme has provided a real example of how young people can develop a core skills set that will make them extremely employable.  At GFirst we have been privileged to be involved"

Finally, the ‘Bovis Homes Management Award’ was presented jointly to Lucy Hurst and Keiran McCord – voted on by the organisers and the students. These two students were felt to have demonstrated a high degree of commitment and to have made the biggest individual journeys in terms of the skills that they developed and demonstrated during the course.