Wednesday, 25 May 2016


"When it comes to recruiting young people, most employers – particularly smaller businesses – value experience above all other criteria. And too few young people are gaining adequate experience of the world of work while still at school, college or university. This is contributing to fewer employers recruiting young people and finding that many of those are not adequately prepared for the world of work."
CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey (2014)

I was at Sheffield Hallam University yesterday attending the SCR Vision Process Education and Skills Workshop. We need to develop an SCR Skills Strategy and an important element is the schools and colleges piece. What came through the workshop from those attending was the need to develop a simple, consistent, coherent and value for money framework to support young people across the Sheffield City Region, regardless of the particular school, academy or college they attend.

Interesting that we already have programmes in place which would form the basis of such a strategy. The Cutlers' 'Made in Sheffield' scheme is an employer-led approach which is now four years old and has developed from a '48 students in four schools' programme focused on the advanced manufacturing and engineering sector to involve 500 students in 12 secondary schools and both colleges in Sheffield with pilot programmes starting in Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham in September. It has had strong support from both Sheffield Universities. 

It critically involves four aspects:
  • a skills framework develop by and with employers;
  • high quality 'world of work' ambassador programmes delivered from Year 9 to Year 11 to a small and carefully selected group of students in each school;
  • business champions who mentor and support the student ambassadors throughout the programme;
  • an employer endorsed skills passport which successful students receive at the end of the programme.

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