Free resources to help teach employability skills and the provision of 50,000 work experience opportunities form part of a new LifeSkills programme.
The initiative is being led by Barclays and was launched by students from Langdon Park School in east London.
From next month, teachers will be able to access free resources designed to develop skills for the workplace, including CV-writing, managing money and building self-confidence.
The idea is that after delivering the modules in class, teachers can then match their students to some of the 50,000 work experience opportunities being made available this year.
Barclays is to provide at least 6,000 placements for 14 to 16-year-olds and is encouraging businesses of all sizes to get involved. Those signed up already include Waitrose, Centrica and McDonald’s.
The LifeSkills resources, which are non-branded, also focus on communication skills, personal presentation and interpersonal skills and can be accessed online by young people as well as delivered in class.
The Langdon Park students took part in a Q&A session with business experts to mark the launch, including LifeSkills ambassadors Jameela Jamil, a television and radio presenter, and Karen Brady, an entrepreneur and businesswoman. Also offering his advice was Ashok Vaswani, the chief executive of Barclays Retail and Business Banking.
Research by the Barclays Youth Barometer shows that
61 per cent of 14 to 25-year-olds in the capital believe it will be harder to get a job on leaving school in the next six months than today.
Furthermore, the UK study of almost 1,000 people found that
68 per cent do not believe they will achieve their career ambitions.
Head of Langdon Park, Chris Dunne, said: “It is vital we do all we can to help our students in the transition from school to the world of work, supporting them to develop the skills they need to be successful in the future.”
Mr Vaswani added: “We face a major challenge in supporting our young people to make the transition from education into the world of work.
“This challenge has never been greater for modern western economies like the UK, where the employment landscape is radically different and much more competitive compared to 30 years ago.”
LifeSkills comes alongside the launch of Barclay’s Bridges Into Work programme, which is aiming to support 10,000 young people into work. Launched as part of National Apprenticeships Week, the scheme provides support for businesses to match them up with suitable apprentices.
For more information on the LifeSkills resources, visit www.barclayslifeskills.com CAPTION: Life launch: Langdon Park students help to launch LifeSkills with, among others, Jameela Jamil (front right), Karen Brady (front left) and Barclay’s Ashok Vaswani (back centre)