Tuesday, 8 March 2016


We should focus on developing the skills and attributes that will be at a premium in future, including communication, confidence, critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork and the core business skills required in the world of work. We need to work with young people to change their mind-set regarding the nature of work, as it becomes more network oriented, more project based and increasingly more technology-intensive. We need to help young people take greater personal responsibility for acquiring and continuously updating the skills and attributes needed to succeed in the world of work and also help them understand the increasing division between low and high-skill jobs. We need to ensure that young people are provided with relevant labour market information and careers advice and include skills and training opportunities as an integral part of their curriculum.

We are doing this in Sheffield with the Cutlers’ ‘Better Learners, Better Workers’ programmes which are demand driven, employer-led programmes focused on developing the skills employers are looking for in their employees. Students on the programmes are provided with a menu of activities to develop these skills. These student ‘Ambassadors’ promote the business sectors to peers and businesses get to see and help develop young people’s talents and abilities. Importantly, the programme has an employer endorsed Skills Passport awarded at the end of the programme.

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