Building a Fresh Approach to Employability in Knowsley
September 3rd, 2015 by Suzanne Sweeney
As the summer holidays started Windmills was bringing to a close one of its major projects for the year. Knowsley Council, its six high schools, Sefton Education and Business Partnership and Windmills have been supporting staff in schools to improve their links with employers and adopt a more creative approach to equipping young people with the skills they need to navigate the steps to fulfil their potential.
Windmills focus was to develop capacity within the schools and with partners to utilise aspects of the portfolio – in particular STAR – to enable young people to develop a more creative approach informing them about their next steps in education, training and employment. Working with a mixture of schools teachers, PSHE professionals, learning mentors, engagement workers and apprentices, the champions utilised STAR in a variety of settings enabling young people to benefit from the tools. E.g. Y10 peer mentoring Y8’s; council apprentices supporting Y6 pupils as part of a community based personal development project and NEET and pre NEET pupils re-engaging with a course of action that enabled them to reconsider their next steps into education and employment.
The lessons learned from this project have been many and will help to form the basis of discussion at our event in November – more details of which are within the headline story in this newsletter. We have found that “winning hearts” about the need for support of this type is not where the obstacles and walls lie. Most individuals recognise that for this year’s school leavers who current research states could have on average 10 jobs by the age of 38, their need to develop a set of skills that builds self reliance, positive and productive relationships and fosters a sense of personal responsibility is a “no brainer”. Where the challenges emerge are when attempting to embed provision of this type into the systems and processes that surround the development of a young person in the five years they have in secondary education. Not an easy issue to solve.
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