A new scheme which promises to transform how young people are made work-ready has launched in Tees Valley.
The Supporting Inspiration online brokerage service, spearheaded by the National Careers Service as part of the Government’s Inspiration agenda, will match up employers, willing to inform students about the world of work, with schools and colleges across the region.
A key aim is to help inspire young people’s interest in careers, inform their careers choices and promote development of the softer skills, such as communication, inter-personal and time management skills that are regarded as essential by most employers.
The service will connect with employers, in Durham, Northumberland, Tees Valley, Tyneside and Wearside, who can offer a range of careers education support such as providing work experience placements, mentoring students face-to-face and online and attending careers fairs.
Schools seeking employers’ support will register their preferences online and the new service will connect them with employers who match their requirements.
The relationships forged between schools and businesses will enable pupils to become aware of career opportunities, to realise the direction they need to take to secure employment in their chosen field and to develop an appreciation of the needs of the workplace.
Carly Hinds, regional partnership manager for the National Careers Service, said: “Our vision is to transform the way employers and schools and colleges can engage so that pupils leave education ready for the world of work.
“In addition, the easy-to-use service will help employers nurture future talent, as well as enhancing the professional development of staff who become involved with a local school or college.
“As well as knowing which academic qualifications to pursue, pupils also need to understand the demands of the workplace and appreciate the value of the softer skills that are so important in the workplace. Communicating effectively, interacting with colleagues and clients, team working and using initiative are all skills highly valued by employers.”
Stephen Catchpole, managing director of Tees Valley Unlimited, the Local Enterprise Partnership for Tees Valley, said: “It is imperative that young people, not only gain the necessary qualifications, but also develop employability skills in preparation for when they start looking for a job.
“The service is welcome news as it will help equip students with the knowledge they need to carve out successful, fulfilling careers and also allow employers to influence the future generation of workers.”
David Willard, Principal of Ingleby Manor Free School in Stockton, added: “As well as achieving academic qualifications, pupils need to be aware of the softer skills, such as communicating effectively, working as part of a team and on one’s own initiative, that also are highly valued by employers.
“This new service is an easy-to-use tool that will help schools connect with companies to enable pupils to learn about the qualities they need to demonstrate to potential employers.”
The Supporting Inspiration service will provide schools and colleges in a range of areas, including access to an online brokerage service, free labour market information, and access to weekly national and local labour market information bulletins.
• Pictured (above, left to right): David Willard of Ingleby Manor Free School, Edwin Milligan of National Careers Service and Sue Hannan of Tees Valley Unlimited, the local Enterprise Partnership for Tees Valley launch the new service.