Progress to Success

Business delivering series of employability workshops for year 9 students (age 13/14) in Basingstoke, UK.

The ‘Progress to Success’ programme is designed to raise students’ awareness of essential communication and life skills, and make them more work ready by building their self-esteem through a series of structured and interactive workshops delivered by volunteers from a local business.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council took part in a pilot programme, working with The Consortium to develop a series of workshops to be delivered to a group of up to 15 year 9 or year 10 students.

Two staff members from Basingstoke and Deane Council delivered 6 workshop sessions, some at the school and some at the council offices. The sessions covered:

  • Induction to the council and what was going to be happening over the next 6 weeks
  • Team Working
  • Communications
  • Time Management
  • Presentation Skills
  • The final Project
  • Review and Reflect on the whole experience

The programme culminated in a presentation in which the young people had to pitch their ideas to the others taking part.

How this resource relates to Shaping Characters objectives

  • Attitudes and attributes
  • Education techniques
  • Innovative approach
  • Motivation and resilience
  • Partnership working

Actual outcomes

Class teacher observed growth in confidence of the students taking part and a greater willingness among the students to take part in classroom discussions.

Resources required

Volunteers provided free of charge by business and venues provided free of charge by school and business, minimal cost for equipment for activities (maximum 30 euros).

How was it funded?

Charge to school of approx. 500 euros. Additional costs met by the fact The Consortium is sponsored by local businesses which funds coordination of projects like this.

Time needed

Business volunteers time – Approximately 45 hours in total which includes developing the programme, delivery of sessions and follow up work.

What could have been done differently or is planned for future repeats?

  1. The students said they would have liked more exposure to a work environment. Could therefore plan visits to different departments so that young people can see how employees dress, answer the phone and communicate in a business environment.
  2. The teacher suggested firmer ground rules for behaviour should be set at the outset so the young people know what is expected and what will happen if they misbehave. The business volunteers are not used to managing young peoples’ behaviour so need to know whose role this will be (theirs or the teacher’s).

How was or could the project be sustained?

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council are looking to run the programme again with different students in 2017. Now the programme has been developed the time commitment will be less next time. They are also happy for other local businesses to use the programme materials to maximise the reach of the project.

This employer is committed to working with schools to improve the employability skills of local young people and this is a key priority for the Human Resources team. This commitment is supported by the elected councillors and council executive management.

All pupils stated that they feel more confident and are more willing to talk to people that they don’t know very well. I have seen a huge difference in two students, one of the students who hardly ever talks in class so this is a huge confidence boost for them. It’s really great to be able to watch them become more positive. The pupils also said that they enjoyed working with different people in different groups.

Quote from teacher

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