South Yorkshire teens give up a day’s holiday to build their work skills
At the start of half-term holiday, over 90 teenagers from across South Yorkshire gathered at the Lifewise Centre near Rotherham to take part in a day of activities to build their job-ready skills.
The ‘Skills Matter Day’ was organised by the Better Learners Better Workers scheme, a schools-based programme that gives young people experiences of the world of work. The event gave the teenagers aged 13 and 14 an insight into different work sectors and the skills needed to secure a job and succeed at work.
Workshops were run by a wide range of employers. The Magistrates’ service ran a real-life court scenario. South Yorkshire Police looked at internet safety and risky behaviour. Keepmoat Homes and Sheffield Housing Company had teams competing in a construction activity. Sheffield Wednesday FC ran a team building exercise. Sheffield Teaching Hospitals used an ‘arthritis suit’ to help young people understand what it feels like to be restricted by arthritis. Barnsley Healthcare Federation ran a dementia quiz. South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue talked about the consequences of arson. Digital industries specialist Sero Skills looked at digital skills for work and how technology is changing jobs. The Workwise Foundation ran a workshop on interview techniques and then ran mock interviews with observation by the young people themselves.
The teenagers came from 16 different schools across South Yorkshire, all of which are involved in the Better Learners Better Workers programme. Of the 90 students who completed feedback forms, 95% said they felt more confident about the work skills they had learnt about and 98% said that they found the day helpful or very helpful.
Colin Muncie, a former director in the steel industry, who is now a Business Champion supporting the Better Learners Better Workers programme, came to support the event. He said: “I was so impressed to see all those young people attend during half-term holiday. It really says something about this scheme that those young people were motivated to give up a day of their holiday to build their skills and confidence. It was inspirational!”