Easing students’ path into work

Fenlander: Pupils put through their paces
Fenlander: Pupils put through their paces

Teenagers from four Fenland secondary schools will gather in Wisbech next week for an all-day lesson in the sort of skills they need to help them get a job.

More than 100 Year 10 students will be joining representatives from a wide range of businesses and other organisations at the Boathouse for a series of workshops and an “enterprise activity” that will challenge them to design and pitch a business idea.

The Employability Skills Day next Thursday (May 9) is being organised by the Fenland Youth District Council (YDC) as part of a longer-term project to help young people develop the qualities needed for the workplace.

The schools taking part are Sir Harry Smith and Cromwell Community Colleges and Thomas Clarkson and Neale-Wade Academies.

The event is the latest in a growing number of events and activities supported by Fenland Enterprise in Education (FEE) project to help students make the switch.

YDC members chose to focus their attention on workplace skills in response to evidence from their peers and FEE that showed pupils wanted more support and more contact with employers while they were still at school to help prepare them for employment.

The FEE project has been steadily gathering momentum since it was established last year. Its creation followed extensive feedback from teachers, pupils and businesses that showed many young people were leaving school ill equipped for the world of work.

Since then, it has involved nearly 2,000 young people and more than 100 businesses in various activities.

Katie Hart, FEE’s manager, said: “It has been wonderful to see the schools and their students starting to engage more with local businesses. Everyone benefits when these two vital aspects of our community come together.”

Recently FEE arranged for a team of Royal Marines to visit the Thomas Clarkson Academy to do a day’s fitness training with Year 10 and 11 students and give them an insight into careers in the armed services.

Its other ventures this year have included a BoomBizz enterprise game, in which pupils at Cromwell Community College competed to see who could run the most successful company, a careers forum at Young People March and sixth-form assemblies at Neale-Wade.

Ms Hart said: “We’re very proud of the start we have made and the success that the project has enjoyed so far and we’re confident that good foundations have been laid for future.

“We recognise that there is still a long way to go to turn around the issues surrounding the transition of young people from education into work, and we’re committed to making these long-term changes.”

Picture caption:

Look lively: a Royal Marine puts students at Thomas Clarkson Academy through their paces.