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Young people need work placements and employability activites in order to get them ready for the world of work. Schools want to prepare pupils by ensuring that they undertake their placements with employers who really care and want to provide work experience of genuine value. This is where Skills for Stroud comes in.

Some organisations choose to be assessed against the charter to acknowledge the great work they already do, whilst others engage so that they can get some strong guidance on how to develop their ideas further. Whatever the reason, the one guarantee is that young people in the district will reap the benefits.

Skills for Stroud is setting the standard for employability activities for young people in the Stroud district. Created by Stroud District Council, it’s a quality charter mark which provides businesses, schools and colleges with accreditation to ensure that their work to help young people in the workplace genuinely equips them for the world of work.

The Skills for Stroud Employability Charter is based on Stroud District Council’s extensive experience of working with young people, businesses and education providers.

If you’d like to help young people by enhancing their employability skills through valued work experience, careers guidance, school careers talks, mentoring and coaching opportunities please read on. And if there’s anything else you’d like to contribute please let us know.

For Employers

Why should your business sign up for Skills for Stroud?

Many employers recognise the need to attract young people to work in their sectors. Whether you’re in engineering, manufacturing, retail, hospitality or the public sector, a well-planned work experience programme and involvement in activities which aid employability will allow you to promote what you do to your future workforce. If you have an apprenticeship scheme it could also act as a great way to attract new recruits and build your future workforce.

From an altruistic perspective it’s also a good way to benefit your local community by helping young people with their future career choices.

What does it involve?

The first thing we should say is that the process is not onerous – so don’t worry about it taking up huge amounts of your time. Our reviewers  write a report which has to be approved by a panel of judges. Their recommendations will be that your organisation be accredited with “aspiring to achieve”, “working towards” or “full recognition” against the charter.

All charter participants are invited to recognition events to celebrate their success. Those who achieve the highest level of full recognition are awarded a plaque to display and those aspiring to achieve and working towards are awarded a certificate.

The accreditation process is simple and straightforward, with the assessment taking no more than half a day of your time. To sign up, or make further enquiries please email us via the contact form. We also have a range of support resources available to help you develop your commitment to employability.

Our trained staff will visit you to assess your existing employability activities You may already qualify for Skills for Stroud accreditation or you may need support and advice to help you achieve it.

Our assessment criteria have been derived from the council’s own work experience programme and the knowledge gathered from a range of “Skills for Stroud” activities and national guidelines developed by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CiPD) and the Association of Colleges.

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For schools and colleges

Why sign up for Skills for Stroud?

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As an education provider, obtaining the Skills for Stroud charter mark, demonstrates to parents and pupils that you have a structured and valuable programme of employability activities which may include work experience, mock interviews and careers events etc. It also gives you additional resources, guidance and support and shows that your institution is actively preparing young people for the world of work.

What does it involve?

Our trained review team will visit to assess your employability practices against the eight indicators in the charter. You may already qualify for Skills for Stroud accreditation or you may need support and advice to help you achieve it.

Our reviewers will write a report which has to be approved by a panel of judges. Their recommendations will be that your school or college be accredited with “aspiring to achieve”, “working towards” or “full recognition” against the charter. All charter partners are invited to our recognition events to celebrate their success. Those who achieve the highest level of full recognition are awarded a plaque to display and those aspiring to achieve and working towards are awarded certificates.

The accreditation process is simple and straightforward, with the assessment taking no more than half a day of your time. To sign up, or make further enquiries please email us. We also have a range of support resources available to help you develop your commitment to employability.

Our assessment criteria have been derived from the council’s own work experience programme and the knowledge gathered from a range of “Skills for Stroud” activities We have worked extensively over the last three years with local schools to ensure the charter assessment process adds value to school strategy and supports OFSTED inspections.

 

For pupils and parents

Work experience and employability activities such as enrichment days, careers talks and mock interviews are an important part of preparing young people for the world of work. They can help point you in the right direction and choose your career path. Ideally, work placements should be an important stepping stone, providing you with skills you can build on for your future careers.

If you go on a placement you need the reassurance that that you’re not just there to make cups of tea or be a general dogsbody for the week – you want to experience the workplace and learn more about the profession you’re interested in.

If you apply for a placement with a local company that has been awarded a Skills for Stroud charter mark then you know you will be working with an employer who will offer you a high standard of work experience.

If your school or college has achieved full recognition against the charter, you’ll know that your teachers are committed to doing all they can to help you prepare for the world of work and take your first steps to a successful career.

Parents of students can also rest assured that they have involvement in the process as parental engagement is one of the criteria that has to be fulfilled by education establishments. as it is one of the criteria that has to be fulfilled by education establishments.

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Roll of honour

What they say…

Calcot Manor Logo CMYK POS (2)Calcot Manor Hotel and Spa took part in the initial pilot run by Stroud District Council. It is a luxurious fourteenth century Cotswold Stone hotel, set in 220 acres of beautiful countryside, with its own restaurant and fully equipped spa. Pat Sparkes, Head of Human Resources from Calcot Hotels, said that having their work experience programme assessed by Stroud District Council was invaluable: “Initially we had a process in place but as we opened our programme up to more students we needed to make it much more structured” she said “so it was good to have a set of criteria to measure it against. We discovered that our programme was up to scratch but we were also glad to receive some pointers to improve it even further”.

 

WWT_LogoThe Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) is a conservation charity that saves wetlands, which are essential for life. Wetlands also connect us with nature through beautiful landscapes and inspiring encounters with wildlife. In 1946, Sir Peter Scott opened WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre (now one of nine centres), and from birdwatchers to families there is plenty to discover all year round. With experiences to suit all ages offering access to a huge variety of wildlife – we are an award-winning day out.

It was a pleasure to participate in the pilot of the Work Experience Charter and it was an opportunity for the WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre Learning Manager, Sue Belej, to demonstrate the structured and professional way in which the centre approaches work experience placements. The Slimbridge team are committed to ensuring that students participate in a well organised placement that is right for them. The Skills for Stroud team were able to share best practice tools and advice with us and we certainly came away from the experience with additional tips and information. We were delighted to have been awarded with the Charter.

Sheila Wilcox, Head of Human Resources

 

Eurolink_LittleEurolink understands the importance of preparing young people for the world at work and we are delighted to be involved in developing the future of our industry and to be supporting the next generation of the workforce.  We work with each student to design an informative and practical period of work experience to suit their interests enabling students to gain new skills and valuable experience within the Telecommunications industry.  It was a pleasure to participate in the pilot of the Work Experience Charter and we were delighted to have been awarded with the Charter.

Donna Purveur, Business Process Analyst

OpenHouse LOGOOPENhouse is a charity that provides housing, education and complex mental health support for homeless young people and vulnerable individuals. Our whole premise is based on supporting individuals to be the person they have the capacity, with the appropriate support, to be. We were therefore thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of the Skills for Stroud Work Experience Charter. OPENhouse has a number of varying work experience opportunities ranging from office work, HR, finance, maintenance, gardening, to education or support work based experiences. Giving young people a safe and supportive chance to experience something that may stimulate future aspirations can only be positive and is wholly worthwhile.

Claire Mould

arcArc Energy Resources is committed to supporting potential engineers of the future by giving them the opportunity to experience what it is like to work in engineering first hand.  This includes an understanding of the discipline of working such as timekeeping, commitment, self-reliance and learning to work as part a team. There will be an opportunity to see how the various departments work, as well as some practical work.  We aim to make the experience safe and enjoyable whilst providing the chance to discover whether a career in engineering is for you.

Rosemary Robinson, Director/Company Secretary

 

KLB-logo

KLB School has run a successful work experience programme for Year 10 students for many years. We have liaised with Stroud District Council on a number of student placements and seen how determined the council is to develop excellent work placements that aim to match students to their particular interests. We were therefore very happy to support the pilot phase of the Skills for Stroud work experience charter.

Work experience helps students to identify and understand the importance of employability skills and gives them the opportunity to practise and develop these skills. We are fortunate to have a wealth of local employers who support the school’s programme year-on-year by providing structured and varied placements. Often it’s an eye-opener for both – students usually find the workplace far less daunting than they had imagined and employers genuinely enjoy the fresh approach and energy young people bring with them.

We hope that by offering a framework and support for employers to develop work experience programmes, the Skills for Stroud Charter will encourage many more employers to get on board and invest in work readiness skills for the next generation.

Helen Isaacs

 

TK LogoAt Thomas Keble we view work experience as an important part of a young person’s education. All of our students in Year 10 undertake a work placement which they find themselves. This is part of the programme and aids key skills such as communication, numeracy as well as working independently to find the placement.
Work experience offers many benefits and learning opportunities. It gives the young person an insight into skills and attitudes by particular sectors and employers and an opportunity to develop, practise and demonstrate additional key skills in a work setting.
Local employers know that Thomas Keble students are well informed about placements and protocols they need to follow whilst on placement as part of their highly structured Careers programme. We were therefore delighted to be awarded the Charter which endorses all the work we do.

Joyce Rendell. Careers and Progression Co-ordinator

 

Archway_Logo 2Archway School has been delighted to be part of the Skills for Stroud initiative and to be awarded the Charter.  It has been of great benefit to us providing additional guidance and support to further enhance our long-standing work experience programme.  We are always grateful that employers offer high quality work experience placements – it is good that the effort they put in is recognised through the Charter.

Colin Belford, Headteacher

Resources

We can offer a whole range of resources to help schools and companies pave the way for work experience placements.

Useful forms for employers, schools and students

If you’re a student wanting to apply for work experience with a Skills for Stroud accredited employer, here’s an application form template

If you’re invited by an employer for an interview or a look around here are some sample interview questions which may help

If both sides agree to go ahead with the placement, the employer will undertake a risk assessment and parents/carers should be asked to complete a parental consent form.

Some organisations may also require students to complete a confidentiality agreement.

A draft timetable for the placement is then drawn up so that everyone knows what to expect

When the pupil starts there will need to be an induction. This manager’s checklist should help

Throughout the placement it’s important to check on progress – and record it. Evaluating these employability skills in the workplace is extremely beneficial and an important part of the learning experience for both students and employers. This employability skills diary is also a helpful aid for students

After the placement it is also good for both sides to give feedback. These forms should help:

Feedback form for organisation to complete (on student)

Feedback form for student to complete (on placement)

And to mark your success you can use this Skills for Stroud certificate template

About Us

The Skills for Stroud Employability Charter is a Stroud District Council initiative. We are one of the district’s largest employers, with 430 staff. Every year we host more than 30 young people, aged 15 – 24, on our structured work experience programme. We also host a large number of people over the age of 24 on our programme to help those who are seeking employment or a change of career

We provide work placements throughout the year for school, college and university students; graduates; the unemployed and adults with learning and/or physical disabilities. Working in local government can be both challenging and rewarding. We offer an introduction to working in a busy, professional environment as well as an understanding of the wide range of services we provide which affect every single person in our area.

We also engage with local schools and businesses through a wide range of Skills for Stroud activities including the Stroud Ambitions careers event in November, mock interviews, mentoring and coaching people who need help to make their next career move.

With this experience and our commitment to improving local employment opportunities we have developed the Skills for Stroud initiative which aims to improve outcomes for our young people, businesses and schools.

If you are a local school, college or company and are interested in finding out more please call Jackie on 01453 754296 or Gideon on 01453 754301 or complete the enquiry  form.

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