Helping students build lifelong skills

We were delighted to take part in this year’s Building My Skills programme for the first time. The year-long employability skills scheme aims to provide students with a rounded introduction to the world of work.

As part of the programme and on behalf of Cool Blue I delivered an hour-long session to more than 200 Year 10 students at Consett Academy, County Durham – a task that at first seemed a little daunting, I must admit!

My aim was to deliver an engaging session – showcasing the industry and putting an emphasis on the importance of employability skills.

The session covered my pathway – what I studied at school, sixth form and university, work experience and internships I’d done during my time at University, any part time jobs and my current role.

I then spoke about Cool Blue and the industry – using fun and interactive aids to encourage the students to engage and really explore the idea of a career in communications – before talking about being employable and what employers are looking for.

The presentation seemed to resonate with some students – here’s just some of their responses:

“I never knew that there were jobs using social media.”

“It made me want to find out more about the different jobs.”

“I like to hear about this from people in work, rather than my teachers.”

Throughout the 2016/17 academic year, pupils have been compiling a personal file documenting their progress, completing checkpoints after each session. This includes completing activities such as workplace jargon crosswords, personal statements and CV writing. The best performing students will then get invited to mock job interviews later in the year.

The award-winning programme is delivered free throughout Scotland, Yorkshire, the North East and North West and is part of Esh Group’s commitment to giving back to the communities in which it works.

It’s encouraging to see such an innovative employability scheme continue to grow with the support of more than 100 like-minded businesses – with schools, students, businesses and local authorities all benefiting.

We’ve already signed up to deliver further sessions during the 2017/18 academic year and would encourage other like-minded businesses to consider taking part.