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Dates revealed for work-wise summer academy in South Yorkshire

John Barber, Work-wise CEO.

The work-wise Foundation has released the dates for its ‘Get up to Speed with Employability Summer Academy’ 2019. This provides 14-18 year olds with the opportunity to gain valuable experience of Industry, the world of work and the employability skills that employers are looking for.

The 4 Day Summer Academy programmes are held on Monday 29th July, Monday 5th August, Monday 12th August and Monday 19th August and are for young people who live in and around South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire. They will take place at a range of locations and employers, including Cutlers’ Hall. Kelham Island Museum, Magna Science Adventure Centre, the Wildlife Trust and employer premises including Liberty Speciality Steels, Engie and Tinsley Bridge Group.

Driven by local employers the Get up to Speed with Employability Summer Academy is designed for young people keen to get a head start and a real taste of the world of work. It gives parents the opportunity to help their son or daughter improve their employment and education prospects. It also supports schools who see an opportunity for students who would benefit from an introduction to the world of work outside the normal school environment.

John Barber, Work-wise CEO, explains, “ We have successfully run the Summer Academy now for five years. It came out of a desire by local employers to give young people a real taste of the world of work which they may otherwise not have the opportunity to experience through school. The young person gives up four days of their holiday and we provide them with a range of experiences they simply would not get otherwise. Over the years we have seen those students who’ve attended grow in self-confidence and develop skills they may not even know they had, make new friends and simply have fun whilst gaining new life experiences. Some students come back to us year after year.”

He continues: “Many who have attended have gone onto work in some of the company’s they visited. Such as Jay who visited Chrome Platers Zachrome. He kept in touch with the company after the Summer Academy and is now employed as an apprentice with them. On his Summer Academy experience Jay said “It is an experience never to be forgotten. There is nothing that I would change, it is simply the best experience of a lifetime.”

To quote another student, Georgiana said “It was such a fantastic, beneficial experience and I am very grateful. It was the best way to spend part of my summer holidays!”

The programme itself takes place over 4 days, all at different venues. Day 1 is all about broadening horizons and introducing industry and the world of work. Day 2 is company based including tour and activity with guest presenters introducing different aspects of how a business operates. Day 3 is all about making, creating and innovation including a fun, hands on team challenge putting the skills learned into practice, including this year team activities delivered by the Army. Finally day 4 is the ‘What Employers Want Conference and Graduation’ – a full day conference where participants attend as business delegates and are supported by business leaders who facilitate the day’s activities. The day finishes with a graduation ceremony for participants and their families.

Delivered with support from employers this is a great opportunity to put young people at the front of the queue when it comes to understanding what opportunities are waiting for them and what employers are looking for in their future workforce.