The Inspiration Programme gently pushes students' boundaries
An initial concern with giving students so much space to explore their options and themselves was the pressure which this could place on some of our more vulnerable students, especially those who had struggled with their mental health. With sessions delivered in an unfamiliar environment, we wondered whether this could have a negative impact. However, we found the polar opposite to be true. Even with our most challenging students, who may not attend school regularly, we found there to be total commitment to each course in the programme.
Sometimes we all need a push to achieve something, and with careers support this can make a huge difference to our future happiness.
With sixth form students, we have found that gently pushing their boundaries with this Programme has had an incredible impact on their behaviour and social skills. Exposing them to different sector experts has made them more adaptive to changing environments and improved their skills at meeting new people, all of which also help to prepare them for their chosen future careers.
Encouraging Pre-NEETs and students with additional needs to actively consider their future careers
At the end of 2019, there was an estimated 763,000 young people aged 16 to 24 in the UK who were not in education, employment or training (NEET). This figure represents 11.1% of young people in the UK, of which almost 40% were deemed unemployed, and just over 60% were deemed economically inactive. These figures are staggering and have severely adverse consequences, not only for the young people themselves, but also for society more generally. Unemployment has indirect detrimental effects on both the economy and social cohesion, as well negatively impacting the wellbeing and livelihoods of those affected. Whilst these figures see NEETs at one of the lowest levels since 2011, it is evident that we still have a long way to go in ensuring young people do not get lost in the jump from education to employment.
For Pre-NEETs and studunts with additional needs if we don’t take steps to tackle this issue now, the problem will only intensify, with key skills and talents missing from our economy, and young people not realising the extent of their potential.
Students considered likely to be at risk of becoming NEET quickly become engaged on The Inspiration Programme, work with others and start to realise their own potential. With increased levels of confidence and a better understanding of the skills they already have, the prospect of starting a new career can seem less daunting and young people are more likely to apply for jobs for which they may have otherwise mistakenly felt ill-equipped.
Alan Bailey, Employer Engagement Lead at Bucks UTC, discusses a profound change in a student as a result of The Inspiration Programme.
Mark was an unmotivated Year 12 student, regularly missing classes and becoming a habitual truant until he was introduced to The Inspiration Programme by his school. The changes in his communication skills, relationship with other students, engagement levels in class sessions and on trips to employment partners were clear to see. The value he attributed to these changes, is summarised when the school suggested to Mark that he can only continue with the Programme if he started to attend his other lessons.
Mark, The Inspiration Programme participant
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Real stories and contributions from young people, parents, staff, members and partners – inspiring young people to become inspiring young people. | All Stories