How Schools and Businesses Can Help Young People Gain Workplace Skills

By Heather Beeby, Director of Communications, Hurstpierpoint CollegeHurstpierpoint College Although most schools offer some form of careers advice to their pupils, for independent schools this tends to focus more on which degrees fit which career paths. Relatively few consider entering the workplace directly from school, although the increased tuition and living costs associated with studying at university may become more of a factor. For employers, there has long been a recognisable skills gap, both for school leavers AND amongst university graduates, who are judged as not properly equipped to enter the workplace ‘ready for business’. Much has been written about how schools and colleges should do more to prepare their students for their future work lives and at Hurstpierpoint College we have put an excellent careers advice and work experience programme in place. Our parent body and alumni are hugely supportive in visiting the College to give careers talks on their particular area of expertise, to take part in ‘speed conversation’ evenings and to offer a series of wonderful work experience opportunities for sixth formers, preceded by a formal CV writing, application and interview process at the College. For many young people joining an apprenticeship scheme and receiving training and employment at the same time is becoming an increasingly attractive proposition.A medium-sized business in mid-Sussex, Hurst is, as a responsible employer in the community, considering working with City College in Brighton and Hove to recruit apprentices to work in its support staff team in a number of different areas, for example a trainee electrician in our estates department. For the employer, the support offered by the apprenticeship training provider may include, amongst other things, pre-recruitment, interview and assessment of apprentices, along with the delivery of training, evaluation and progress reports.

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