Businesses praised for supporting young people with work experience
Published: Friday, 26 August, 2016
The success of the Skills for Stroud Employability Charter has been celebrated, with awards given to businesses and schools that have supported young people through work experience.
An awards event was held to celebrate the work of all those recently involved in the Skills for Stroud Employability Charter, run by Stroud District Council.
This project replaces the previous Work Experience Charter and is a quality charter mark which provides businesses, schools and colleges, with accreditation that recognises their work in developing and delivering employability programmes that genuinely equip young people for the world of work.
The Skills for Stroud team offers all organisations involved the support and paperwork they need to put quality employability and work experience programmes in place, or improve existing ones, and reviewers visit each organisation to assess their programmes in line with the charter standard.
Caroline Saturley, who picked up an award on behalf of her business The Hog at Horsley, said: “The benefits of running work experience far outweigh any effort you have to put in, I personally really enjoy being able to do it.
“The early experiences of work are so important for young people. It is up to us as adults and businesses to give young people the experiences and opportunities to get on the career ladder.”
Billy Williams, 18 from Stroud, did his work experience at Rush Skate Park, which was awarded the charter. He was subsequently offered a full time job as senior marshal within the business.
“The work experience gave me lots of great experiences and a really useful mix of skills,” he said. “I never imagined it would lead to a full time job.”
Michelle Norman, director of Rush Skate Park, said the Skills for Stroud project had been a big factor in helping her offer around 12 placements each year.
“We offered work experience before joining Skills for Stroud but it always seemed like a lot of hard work. The charter has helped give us a structure, so when young people turn up we have a schedule and programme planned out. This makes it much easier to run.”
Overall 22 businesses, 4 schools and one college have been awarded either a Work Experience or Employability Charter over the last 18 months . They range from large international companies like Renishaw plc, to small independent companies such as greengrocers P&S Fruit and Veg.
Fiona Hammond, Learning and Development Officer at SDC and head of the Skills for Stroud team, said: “This project is a first for Gloucestershire and an extremely important initiative for the district. It is intended to build a bridge between the world of work and the world of education.
“Already we have seen the positive impact it has had on young people.”
Businesses and schools are encouraged to check out the website and get in touch to find out how to get involved, and access the free support and resources available. There is no cost to join the scheme and for those who meet the required standard a Stroud Employability Charter is awarded .
If you are looking for further information on the Skills for Stroud Employability Charter, please visit skillsforstroud.org.uk