Thursday, 9 July 2015


I was in Sheffield yesterday for a breakfast meeting with headteachers, principals and colleagues from the schools and colleges involved in the Cutlers' Made in Sheffield scheme. We are meeting twice a year to review the progress we are making and to look at how we can continue to develop the work we have been doing. The Cutlers’ ‘Made in Sheffield’ programme delivers high quality training and enrichment activities, which over two years help young people develop the skills, behaviours and character traits required for success at work and in life after school. The framework aims to develop and recognise in students those personal attributes essential for employability and life.
The ‘Made in Sheffield’ programme is currently being used with ten employment sectors brought together by the Cutlers Company, in partnership with Sheffield City Council, and is currently training 500 ambassadors from 12 secondary schools and colleges. These programmes start in Year 9 and develop over two years; the students taking part in visits and work experience placements with employers, world of work, life skills and team building sessions, and carry out employer initiated projects. The young people have regular feedback and reviews and are finally awarded an employer endorsed passport to recognise their achievements at a celebration event at the Cutlers’ Hall. We know that the scheme works and it was deeply encouraging to hear what headteachers, principals and colleagues involved in the scheme said about the impact the work was having on the academic and personal and social development of the young people recruited as ambassadors for the various employment sectors.
We know that our programme works. Evidence from employers, schools, students and parents and carers shows that the programme has had a significant impact on student skills, outcomes and achievements. Schools progress data indicates that students on the programmes make better progress than similar groups not accessing these opportunities. Our two independent evaluation reports by the University of Sheffield (2013) and Schools Linking Network (2014) confirm the value of the 'Made in Sheffield' programme as an innovative, employer-led programme that helps prepare young people for the world of work by developing skills, behaviours and character traits. Schools consistently describe seeing students who have developed personal confidence and motivation, career aspirations, awareness of the world of work and employability skills.

Schools have welcomed the success of the programme and the critical role played by Business Champions who mentor ambassadors and report seeing the students develop in maturity and confidence. Feedback from parents and carers shows that they felt the programme had a positive effect on future aspirations, helping students to decide what career path to take, and giving a greater insight into what was required to succeed at school and in the world of work. The feedback from all stakeholders shows that the programme has created ‘better learners and better workers’.

The Cutlers' "Made in Sheffield" Programme aims to develop strategies and approaches focused on academic and technical excellence, to develop higher level skills and abilities, to shape character, to develop resilience and grit and to nurture innovation and creativity. If you want to find out more about the work we are doing in Sheffield please let me know.

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