Talented young employees of the future
Blackpool - Blackpool
Talented young employees of the future from Blackpool Sixth graduate from employer-backed Career Academy programme.
18 young people from Blackpool attended a graduation ceremony at Aspire, Leeds LS1, 10 May 2011
18 students yesterday graduated from the Blackpool Sixth Career Academy – a two-year education programme, which aims to raise the aspirations of 16 to 19-year-olds and boost their employability skills by giving them real life experiences of the workplace.
Over 768 young people, drawn from 81 schools and colleges across the UK, have graduated from the programme this year. Working with an impressive network of over 900 employers, the programme provides valuable workplace experiences for teenagers, many from diverse urban backgrounds and areas of social need who would not normally have access to such opportunities.
Completing the Career Academy programme greatly improves the students’ chances of progressing on to higher education or straight into a job, at a time of real concern about the employment and education prospects for young people in the UK.
The Blackpool Sixth students received their certificates from Heather McGregor, Director of Taylor Bennett and Chair of Career Academies UK and Mike Williams, Executive General Manager, Yorkshire Bank and a member of Career Academies UK National Advisory Board.
Five honorary alumni were also recognised for their outstanding contribution to the programme: Bernadette Edge, Career Academy Coordinator, Longley Park Sixth Form College; Barry Hilton, Leeds Mentoring Manager, Education Leeds; Paul McSweeney, Career Academy Coordinator, The Oldham College; Gail Peet, Head of Occupational Learning, Cheadle & Marple Sixth Form College; David Richardson, Chief Executive, Bradford Breakthrough and Chair of Local Advisory Board at Buttershaw Business & Enterprise College.
James McCreary, Career Academies UK’s Chief Executive, along with entrepreneur and finalist of BBC 1’s hit show The Apprentice, Claire Young and motivational speaker David McQueen, offered words of encouragement and top tips on how young people can fulfil their ambitions and achieve future career success.
Louise Logan, Work Placement Officer at Blackpool Sixth spoke of how the Career Academy Programme helps students stand out from the crowd. “The students gain a variety of employability skills through the Career Academies programme which gives them something extra on their CV’s or personal statements. In these times, having that something special is a real must, and we’ve found the Career Academy so far has been a real success.
James Gilliard, 19 who was one of the students to graduate, said: “I chose the Career Academy programme because it offers a unique opportunity to experience a true working environment. I completed my internship with Wyre Borough Council, which helped me gain valuable experience to enhance my UCAS application. “
James McCreary, Chief Executive of Career Academies UK, said: “At a time when youth unemployment is at a record high, graduation day celebrates the achievements of Career Academy students who have recognised the need to work hard and be armed with the skills and vital experience needed to help them get ahead and stay ahead! We wish the Career Academy class of 2011 at Blackpool Sixth Form all the best for the future.”
Career Academies UK – the first national organisation to receive the Award for Education Business Excellence – was set up in 2002 to help raise the aspirations and career expectations of young people, by providing them with meaningful experiences of the world of work.
Career Academy students follow a rigorous two-year enrichment programme alongside a curriculum equivalent to at least three A levels, enabling students to progress to higher education or the world of work.
The programme includes one-to-one business mentoring and a six-week paid internship with a huge range of supporting businesses, including, Yorkshire Bank, Leeds Building Society, ASDA, Zurich, Santander, First Direct, Yorkshire Water, Centrica, Lloyds Banking Group, Yorkshire Building Society, Link Telecom, KPMG and DLA Piper.
To read more about Career Academies UK CLICK HERE