Boosting young people’s employability through LifeSkills

‘LifeSkills created with Barclays’ is a free employability programme for 11-24 year olds and we’re thrilled that, to date, we’ve had 5 million young people participate in the programme. Now we’re excited to announce two new initiatives that celebrate the achievements of young people, schools and colleges in their bids to boost career prospects.

What is LifeSkills?
Back in 2013, LifeSkills was launched to support educators address the growing skills gap amongst their students and face the youth employability challenge head on. Developed with educators across all four nations, LifeSkills strives to support educators develop young people’s employability skills through free, curriculum linked education content.
Through lesson plans, interactive challenges, videos and quick-fire activities, as well as student work placements opportunities and sending Barclays volunteers into the classroom, we want to help to bring  career education to life.

What does LifeSkills deliver?                                                                                    LifeSkills covers a range of different themes that all support young people get the skills they need to move forward from education into the 21st century workplace, including building resilience, learning to be a problem solving pro, becoming an expert communicator and mastering money management.

LifeSkills and the Career Education Standard
To make teachers’ lives as easy as possible, we ensure our content is aligned with the Career Education Standard’s goal of improving ‘young people’s ability to make informed decisions about future pathways’.   In particular, throughout the resources we look at how we can fulfil the following criteria highlighted within the standard:

• engage young people in meaningful discussion about their skills development
• develop their understanding of the responsibilities and duties placed on employers and employees
• facilitate young people’s learning and their ability to engage with a rapidly developing landscape of work/career and learning opportunities

Greg Leighton, an employability support officer in Glasgow and member of the LifeSkills Educator Advisory Council is passionate about the programme, stating ‘It’s no longer just about qualifications. Young people now, more than ever, need softer skills like confidence and communication, alongside relevant experience, to meet the demands of a changing world of work. LifeSkills resources are comprehensive, easy to use and essential in helping young people to realise and fulfil their true potential.’
But it doesn’t end there. Now we’re taking the programme to the next level.

LifeSkills Champions
Launched in October, LifeSkills Champions offers young people the chance to gain valuable recognition for boosting their own and their peers’ employability skills through LifeSkills. If you work in education, you can nominate anyone aged 14-19 to become a LifeSkills Champion.
Once nominated, young people are tasked with delivering a series of LifeSkills sessions to their peers. From CV writing to interview preparation, networking best practice and more, the sessions cover core skills and competencies that are essential to employers. What’s more, they’ll be supported along the way with a toolkit, packed full of tips and videos from LifeSkills Ambassadors. When their designated activities have been completed and approved, they’ll receive a ‘LifeSkills created with Barclays’ digital badge to help demonstrate to prospective employers that they’ve got the skills to take on new challenges, act as a leader and motivate others.

The LifeSkills Award
Going hand in hand with LifeSkills Champions is the LifeSkills Award. This recognises schools and colleges which are going above and beyond to support their students to gain the skills they need for better futures using LifeSkills. We know there are so many schools and colleges out there doing amazing work to set their students up for success by embedding LifeSkills across their whole institution, and we want to make sure they’re getting the recognition they deserve. Successful applicants will receive certification that demonstrates their institution’s commitment to championing young people’s employability locally and nationally, as well as to regulators and parents.
You can find out more about these two initiatives, alongside a wealth of free employability skills resources, at barclayslifeskills.com/teachers.

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