Careers Column 3 - Helping your child become work ready
Throughout the summer our expert Advice Team is running a special Careers Column in the Gloucester Citizen, Gloucestershire Echo, Stroud Life and Forest Citizen, advising parents on how to help their children make the right choice for their education and future careers.
If you didn't catch it in the paper, don't worry - we will be posting the articles here on the GC news page each week on a Wednesday.
Week 3 - Helping your child become work ready
Click the image to view the published article or read it below:
Helping your child become work ready
By Laura Davies, Advice and Guidance Coordinator
One of our goals as parents is to help our children get a great job they feel both challenged and supported in. However youth unemployment is still a major concern, and with 40% of all unemployed people in the UK being under the age of 25, how do we help our children become ‘work ready’?
What does ‘work ready’ mean?
In a recent interview the Managing Director of Britannia Construction, Paul Halfpenny, said the term ‘work ready’ is about young people understanding the gap between leaving college and starting work: “Even when you’re at college, people tell you what to do…when you come to work you have to think for yourself.”
Barclays PLC says that there are many skills young people need to demonstrate in order to become ‘work ready’, including “team-working, problem solving, confidence, presentation skills and resilience, to name just a few.”
Renishaw sited enthusiasm and a desire to learn as very important skills for new recruits. So ‘work ready’ means having the skills to succeed in the workplace – often something that academic qualifications alone cannot offer young people.
Employers do rate young people, and say that even at 16 many are prepared for the world of work, but the main thing they lack is experience. In the past many young people had a Saturday job, but the proportion of 16 and 17 year olds combining education with a job has halved in 15 years. So we need to find different ways for young people to experience the world of work and gain those all-important work ready skills. Volunteering, apprenticeships, work experience, internships and work placements can all help young people develop those ‘soft skills’ employers want, alongside their academic qualifications.
How Gloucestershire College can help
At Gloucestershire College we think long and hard about how we can help our students become work ready. We start by recruiting industry experts to teach our students. We also have great relationships with local employers and talk to them about what they want from our students.
We offer programmes including apprenticeships and traineeships, which allow students to learn on the job. Plus, all full-time students work with the GC Crew to gain work-related skills through ventures such as fundraising, community work and running events.
Level 3 students can undertake an internship alongside their studies and many of our courses offer work placements, such as health and social care where students spend a day a week on placement, or catering where our students work at the College’s on-site restaurants and externally at events such as Cheltenham Races.
So if you want to help your child become ‘work ready’, our advice is to support them to carefully choose where they continue their education after GCSEs. Will their school or college provide them with qualifications and expose them to the world of work? Will it encourage them to be on the lookout for opportunities to get that all-important work experience? That could just make the difference in helping them secure their perfect job.
Top Tips for helping your children become ‘work ready’
- Volunteering opportunities – have a look at www.do-it.org
- Apprenticeships – a brilliant way for young people to gain industry experience
- National Citizen Service – a fantastic opportunity for 16 and 17 year olds to build up skills and have life-changing experiences
- Get involved – in live music, theatre, college trips, internships and placements
- Record – encourage your child to keep a list of all their new found skills for their CV
Whichever pathway your child decides to choose, the GC Advice Team is here to help. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0345 155 2020 for independent advice and guidance.