Pupils get lessons in nine-to-five
Published by rtownsend for Sanctuary Housing Association in Housing and also in Education
Angela Wilshaw, Financial Inclusion Manager, with a pupil from Sandwell Academy
What makes a good CV? How does behaviour and attendance impact upon job prospects? What’s the point of studying maths and what are the so-called “soft skills” looked for by modern employers?
Pupils at Sandwell Academy have been gaining an insight into the working world through a partnership with Midland employer, Sanctuary Group.
Managers and staff from the leading housing and care provider have visited the secondary school to hold CV workshops, give career advice, teach interviewing skills and mentor students.
The importance of boosting links between schools and local companies to improve the employability of young people was highlighted recently by business lobby group, the CBI.
Sandwell Academy marked the success of the year-long partnership by naming Sanctuary its Industrialist of the Year at an award ceremony held at the school.
Sanctuary’s corporate social responsibility manager Sophie Atkinson said: “We are delighted to receive this award. Young people today are entering an increasingly competitive job market and it’s important they go into it equipped with the skills they will need to succeed.
“As a major local employer, Sanctuary is passionate about putting something back into the communities in which we operate.
“This has been very much a two-way partnership. Our staff have gained the opportunity to learn more about the young people who will be the employees of tomorrow and develop their own skills such as public speaking and presenting.”
Under the partnership, Sanctuary staff have also been helping students with soft skills, including building confidence and self-esteem, time-keeping and goal-setting. In addition, work placements will be offered to students within Sanctuary.
Simon Topper, headteacher of Sandwell Academy, said: “It's through innovative partnerships such as these that we can add value to the learning experience of our students and we are grateful to Sanctuary for allowing staff in their company to share their time, experiences and expertise. I know that both our students and staff from Sanctuary have gained greatly from this venture.”
Sandwell Academy opened in 2006 and caters for 1,200 students. Rated “outstanding” by Ofsted, it is sponsored by Tarmac, the Mercers Company, Thomas Telford School, HSBC Education Trust and West Bromwich Albion FC.
Speaking at its Action for Jobs summit last month, The CBI’s Director-General John Cridland called for greater emphasis to be placed on forging links between education and businesses.
He said: “Today’s young people are entering a complex world and are making choices from the age of 13 that will define what they will be able to do with their lives. We are asking a lot more of them in making their way in the world than was asked of previous generations.”