As students embark on a new academic year, The Skills Service is stepping up its mission to provide inspiration and raise aspirations for their future careers while also helping to meet the skills needs of the local economy. Success is achieved by brokering effective relationships between businesses, schools and training providers, using these links to facilitate work-related learning activities for local secondary schools. These range from mock interviews and mentoring to careers fairs and enterprise challenges.
In the last academic year, 200 such events were delivered across the region, impacting over 28,000 students. This amounted to over 128,000 hours of careers-based education with almost 6,500 business hours contributed by local organisations. These business volunteers represented around 500 different businesses from a wide range of sectors. In addition, the team filled over 1,500 work experience placements.
The Skills Service, which is part of Opportunity Peterborough’s economic development portfolio and funded by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, works closely with schools across the region to develop a careers strategy to suit their individual needs. Using a range of tools that were created in line with government guidelines, priority is given to providing
up-to-date information about the local labour market, linking the curriculum to careers, enabling multiple encounters with employers and employees, and ensuring first-hand experience of the workplace.
Recent market research carried out independently on behalf of The Skills Service highlighted the impact that the service has on both businesses and schools. Benefits specified by businesses included:
Some spoke of more direct impact in terms of employment, for example:
Benefits to schools included:
Sarah Anstiss, Skills Lead for The Skills Service, said:
“It’s great to see the impact of the work we’ve been delivering and to hear directly from the businesses who support us that they are noticing tangible benefits of getting involved with our activities.”
“We rely on the employers who give up their valuable time to take part in our activities and, with a packed events calendar for the forthcoming year, we would encourage others to get involved to see the impact it could have on your business and ensure that we are creating awareness of the whole job market.”
[Browse the events calendar]