Month: June 2016

What does Brexit mean for young people?

Just to be clear, I don’t have the answer and I’m convinced that’s because the answer is ours to decide.

IF today’s decision to leave the EU means a period of economic instability, IF it means we see changes in the make-up of our workforce and the skills we export, IF we see differences in where and how we trade, IF, IF, IF.  Let’s face it, at the moment all we have are a lot of ‘IF’ questions to which no-one really has the answers.

What I can see at this stage is this: it’s now more important than ever for our young people and for the generations that comes next, to be fully prepared to take their place in the workforce, armed with the employability skills and careers education, information, advice and guidance they need.  For some this may mean maximising entrepreneurial opportunities and finding solutions to problems.  For some, it will mean going into employment.  For some, it may mean joining the growing social enterprise sector or something different entirely.  Whichever way, our young people are going to be play a key part in moving this country forward.

As parents, as educators, as individuals and as employers there are sure to be uncertain times ahead but surely it’s time to pull together in whatever ways we can to ensure our young people are best prepared for what their future holds.


The importance of employability skills

I talk about employability skills on a pretty much daily basis.  With teaching professionals.  With individuals.  With service professionals.  With employers.  It doesn’t matter who I’m working with, the need to understand and to demonstrate employability skills comes out strong every time.  Individuals, particularly young people, need to understand the importance of these skills and how to demonstrate them.  Employers simply want someone with the attitude and skills vital to their business.

I wanted to share with you a quick example of something I’ve been involved in recently as part of the day job, supporting skills across the Humber…

Success in the Kitchen (taken from )

Devil’s Kitchen Thursday 26th May saw 50+ guests from the business world enjoy an evening of devilish delight at the Holiday Inn, Hull Marina.

16 young people on the Springboard programme, a programme linked to the Humber LEP went head to head in a true Hull versus East Riding battle. All in the name of the Smile Foundation a local charity whose aim is to see other charities and projects in Hull and East Yorkshire become more successful.

Plans for the event began way ahead of time and have included opportunities for Springboard clients wherever possible. This included East Riding Client Jack spending two days with local design agency Strawberry where he designed and produced a very professional event programme.

Mike Parker, Chair of the Humber LEP Employment and Skills Board said; “The Springboard programme is a great way to engage the business community though the Skills Pledge campaign. This event showcased the skills of these young people with an innovative, well planned approach”.

The Blue team (Hull) and the red team (East Riding) produced a fabulous three-course meal, gained hands-on work experience and delivered outstanding customer service. The young people on the Springboard Programme are not currently in employment, education or training but they want to be, and are working towards it, which showed in abundance in the unique opportunity for our young people to put their employability skills to the test in a real working environment, and putting themselves in the ‘shop window’ for potential jobs, apprenticeships, and placements.

Shiv Nand, Pepperells Solicitors said; “I had a wonderful time, with great company, and see a promising future for this Hull and East Riding Generation”.

Holiday Inn, Hull Marina, laid open their doors to put on this impressive event. The chef and Holiday Inn team instructed the young people on how to cater for the guests, cook, create table displays, serve and all they would need to put on a fine evening.

Guests were able to give to the charity, instead of paying for their dining experience, with the event achieving over £1,250 in donations for the Smile Foundation charity.

Daniel Roach, MB Roach and Sons Civil Engineering said; “”A fantastic evening! The team have been a credit to themselves, and hopefully a few will end up with a job or placement by the end of the night””

Katie Oxtoby, Hull Pie, said;”It has been brilliant. At moments I felt emotional as it is really heart-warming and such a great thing that Springboard are doing. The guys are doing exactly the right thing to make themselves employable. Employers want to see CV’s from people who have demonstrated commitment to improving their skills.””

The long term results for the young people are yet to be seen, but early feedback is very encouraging, with employers contacting for more information and requesting interviews for the 16 stars of the evening.  One young person has already met with an employer who attended on the night and has secured a two week work experience placement in an admin / accounts setting proving that the skills demonstrated at the event really are transferable.