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Students rate the importance of being work ready as youth unemployment soars


Tuesday 14th April 2015

Young people are facing the greatest employment challenge in twenty years, as official statistics show they are three times more likely to be unemployed than the national average.

Latest data from the Office of National Statistics states almost 16% of 16-24 year olds are currently unemployed, compared to a national average of 5%, the biggest disparity since the 1990s. The Midland Studio College Hinckley, which is sponsored by North Warwickshire & Hinckley College and part of The Midland Academies Trust, conducted research to understand how students are getting work ready in these difficult times.

The survey of Year 10 students at the school, conducted in April, canvassed opinion on the reasons why they had chosen to study at The Midland Studio College and what they found to be the most important factor in preparing for the world of work. The overall findings showed how students believed the combination of extensive workplace experience and working with personal coaches had given them the skills to be work ready and the confidence to secure employment.

The work placement programme was the most valuable part of students’ education at the school, according to the findings. Almost three quarters of respondents said gaining work experience throughout their studies helped develop an understanding of the work environment, as well as learning important technical skills needed in the local economy.

Having a personal coach was the next most important, mentioned by almost two thirds of students. Each student at the school has a personal coach to help them with their individual development and ensure that they get the most from their education, both emotionally and academically. The unique coaching initiative at The Midland Studio College Hinckley was praised by Ofsted as ‘innovative’ and ‘transformational’ in helping students, during its 2014 inspection.  Each student works with their coach on a personalised approach that helps develop skills in behaviour and attitude, as well as maximising work and academic acumen.

Marion Plant OBE, Chief Executive of the Midland Academies Trust said: “The latest official statistics on youth unemployment make difficult reading, with young people now facing the greatest employment challenges for a generation. It is therefore really encouraging to see that our students share our beliefs in the importance of connecting education with employment.”

Dan Rosser, Executive Principal at The Midland Studio College, added: “Being work ready is not just about academic achievement, or employment skills alone; it is about developing the right character, fostering an appetite to learn and an ambition to grow. The world is changing and education needs to respond. By offering a variety of pathways for our students we give them the best chance of success and the confidence to believe.”

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