‘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.
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.
Tha Dùbhlan Matamataig an Leas Phrìomh Mhinisteir ri fhaighinn ann an Gàidhlig an seo:
Tha sinn an dòchas gun còrd e ruibh.
Deputy First Minister’s Maths Challenge is available through the medium of Gaelic:
Fun, festive activities to keep your child busy over the holidays!
STEM Education and Training Strategy for Scotland has now been published
A STEM (Sciences Technologies, Engineering and Mathematics) Education and Training Strategy was launched in the Scottish Parliament last week by Ms Shirley-Anne Somerville, Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science. The Strategy, together with a STEM Evidence Base Report, is now available to download from: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/10/1386/downloads
A central focus on the strategy is to enable everyone to develop STEM skills for learning, for life and for work. It provides a new emphasis on career pathways within STEM sectors and to grow successful partnerships between schools and employers through the Developing the Young Workforce Programme. The strategy also includes a commitment to expand Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeship Programmes to enable many to pursue jobs and careers in STEM through these pathways. This strong focus on skills and careers will further enhance national efforts to Develop the Young Workforce (DYW) and embed employment and career management skills in the curriculum through the Career Education Standard.
A wide variety and resources including exemplars around DYW and STEM can be accessed on the National Improvement Hub here.
The Institute for Engineering and Technology (ITE) has launched a campaign entitled ‘Engineering Work Experience for All’ in order to raise awareness of the value of high quality, practical work placements in helping to develop future engineers with the practical skills they need for the workplace.
According to the IET 2016 Skills and Demand in Industry report, 62 per cent of engineering employers say graduates don’t have the right skills for today’s workplace, while 68 per cent are concerned that the education system will struggle to keep up with the skills required for technological change. To address these growing concerns over skills gaps in the engineering workforce, particularly among graduates and school leavers, 91 per cent of companies agreed that more employers need to provide work experience for those in education or training.
In response to these statistics, the IET has launched the Engineering Work Experience for All campaign to champion the need for more employers and universities to collaborate to offer quality work experience to engineering students. The campaign is designed to rally employers, universities, Government and students to make a range of different, quality work experience opportunities more widespread.
Find our more about the campaign here.
FUTURE AS5ET – A one day free conference for S5 schoolgirls, open to all secondary schools in Scotland.
22 September 2017, Edinburgh International Conference Centre
The organisers, financial education charity Didasko and various investment management firms coordinated by Stewart Investors, are especially keen to encourage attendance of schools from outside Edinburgh,. They are offering generous financial contributions towards travel for schools based outside of Midlothian area, and accommodation for those located more than 100 miles away.
The conference programme offers a wide range of seminars and key note presentation from inspirational speakers all around career opportunities in the financial sector.
Access the programme here.
For more information please contact:
Ania Lewandowska, Senior Associate, Charlotte Street Partners
0 787211 8175
A blog by Lorna Harvey, Acting Senior Education Officer
for Numeracy and Mathematics
Last year ( August 2016), we published draft Benchmarks for literacy and English and for numeracy and mathematics with the aim of providing clarity on the national standards expected at each level of the Broad General Education. We wanted to make clear what learners need to know and what they need to be able to do to progress through the levels, and to provide guidance that would support consistency in teachers’ and other practitioners’ professional judgements.
By publishing the Benchmarks in draft, we wanted to ensure we had time to consult with the very people who would be using the Benchmarks. We were committed to developing guidance that would hit the mark and achieve our aim of providing clarity.
From the outset we were keen to hear from as many practitioners as possible and we wanted to make sure anyone wishing to provide feedback felt confident that they could be as open and honest as they wished. To achieve that we set up an anonymous online consultation, but we also planned a number of face-to-face sessions allowing for more depth to our discussions and the opportunity for people to ask questions.
A number of National Network events provided opportunities for practitioners from across Scotland to contribute to this consultation process. This included the National Literacy Network, the National Numeracy Network and the Principal Teacher/Faculty Head Forum for Mathematics. Colleagues from SQA were involved in many of these discussions.
Some people decided to get together with colleagues and offer suggestions, while others wanted to provide their individual response. Whichever way people chose to provide feedback, it was extremely valuable. It was great to receive insight based on practitioners’ engagement with the Benchmarks in their education setting.
Together with my colleagues across Education Scotland , I worked on collating the results and analysing the feedback before making relevant changes to the Benchmarks. A number of stakeholders had offered to be involved in further consultation so we shared the updated Benchmarks and gathered more feedback as part of the process.
And then we had them. The final Benchmarks, shaped by practitioners and providing the clarity that we had been aiming for. A real collaborative effort.
We have now published the Benchmarks on our National Improvement Hub and would encourage practitioners to familiarise themselves with the documents before they begin using them in their setting. It’s also worth having a look at the ‘change’ documents we developed which clearly show where changes have been made from the drafts. There is also a frequently asked questions document.
We have uploaded a broadcast on the National Numeracy and Mathematics Hub which provides background information, advice and guidance on using the Benchmarks. The majority of this broadcast is relevant for all practitioners and there is a specific numeracy and mathematics input also. This broadcast could be used at an In-Service day in August to raise awareness of the Benchmarks and support professional discussion and planning.
We will be providing seminars at the Scottish Learning Festival in September as well as a Yamjam – where practitioners are invited to engage in an online discussion about the Benchmarks.
We would like to say a huge thank you to all the practitioners who supported the consultation process, working with us and engaging with the drafts to provide valuable feedback to help shape the final documents
Frank Devine, SDS Careers Adviser at Uddingston Grammar School, tells us more about a recent event supporting teachers to encourage young people to consider STEM careers. ‘We understand the influential role teachers play in young people’s careers choices.
Part of our role as Scotland’s national careers service is to ensure we work closely with, and support teachers to, offer the support young people need to make informed career decisions. That was the main driver behind our recent Career Gap event. Working with South Lanarkshire Council’s Developing the Young Workforce co-ordinator as well as a group of local teachers, our aim was to give teachers across the area help to support pupils to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.
More than 50 attended, from 18 local area secondary schools.
By tapping in to the wealth of expertise and knowledge on offer across SDS, we were able to offer a full day programme looking at the subject from a variety of angles – equalities, career management skills and employer need.
Our National Training Programmes team supported the day to raise awareness of the ways unconscious bias could be stopping some pupils, especially young women, progressing in STEM.
They brought in Improving Gender Balance Scotland project officer Charlotte Govan to give some cold hard numbers on subject uptake, and the impact that has further down on employment, as well as practical ways of combatting unconscious bias.
Our employer team helped to put us in touch with employers and apprentices to tell teachers their stories, offer ideas on support that could be helpful to pupils now, and talk about what it’s really like to work in STEM industries. BT, BAE and Scotland Energy and Utility Skills all attended on the day.
My colleague Donna Robertson and I were able to give more information on career management skills, career long professional learning modules we offer, the support resources available to teachers via My World of Work and more detail on SDS careers services in schools.
All the teachers who attended took away packs with more information on the support SDS offers, and we’ll be creating further lesson plans and resources to share with all the teachers who attended.
This wasn’t just a chance at CPD for teachers, but offered us the chance to develop the skills of young people from the area too. Recent graduate Stephen Benedetti lent his sound engineer skills for the podium and round table mics, and sixth year Uddingston pupil Adam McKibben snapped pictures for us on the day which were used on the SDS website and social media.
Partnership working was key to the success of the event, as it is to all the work SDS is involved in.
Donna and I are really proud of the strength of the partnerships we have here in South Lanarkshire. We work closely with all members of the school staff, including subject teachers, pastoral care teachers and the senior management team, the local authority and with partner organisations working within education and with our customers across the area.
It’s those strong partnerships that allow us to stage not just major one-off events like this, but to ensure day-to-day we are offering the best service we can to our customers.
Our recent Education Scotland review shows our hard work is paying off.
If you want to find out more about the support SDS can offer teachers, speak to your school careers adviser for latest information and events and find out about support resources we offer at My World of Work here.
You can also access CLPL modules on the Career Education Standard, labour market information, career management skills and My World of Work at this page.
Road Safety Scotland have developed a suite of free road safety learning resources for specific age groups from 3-18 years, with a view to developing responsible road use among young people. All their resources link to Curriculum for Excellence, incorporating experiences and outcomes in health and wellbeing; literacy and English; maths and numeracy, and many other subject areas.
The resources offer different learning styles to engage teachers and learners, and make the learning appropriate, relevant and challenging at every level, and may also help maintain the important link between school and home, allowing key road safety messages to be shared throughout the wider community. You can now access the online resources through the App Library available in Glow.
To inspire you have a look at our Interesting Practice area that highlights the many creative ways schools like Broxburn Academy are providing opportunities for young people around entrepreneurship and enterprise.
Interesting practice exemplars from Fife Council
The Raytheon Quadcopter Challenge is a partnership between the Council and Raytheon UK. The programme brings STEM Ambassadors from Raytheon UK to deliver lessons in classrooms to second year pupils, on a variety of engineering topics, bringing contextualised learning to young people. Another great example from Fife is The Enterprise Game. The game is a developmental tool helping pupils to learn about business. Initially created as a board game, it allows young people to use their entrepreneurial skills to make, sell and deliver products to customers around the board. It has been customised to incorporate the names of many major employers throughout Fife which helps players to increase their understanding not just of enterprise, but of the wider Fife economy.
Looking for support?
If you would like support to embed enterprise within your school’s curriculum Scotland’s Enterprising Schools can help. Have a look at our resource area for ideas or contact us to arrange for a member of our team to get in touch with you. You can also expand your knowledge around enterprise and get support to embed the Developing the Young Workforce strategy by attending one of the free twilight professional learning sessions we are delivering across Scotland. You should hear about these opportunities from your Local Authority shortly. The next sessions will be held as follows:
Fife Twilight Session (venues and times tbc):
- 26th April 2017 – West Fife
- 2nd May 2017 – Central Fife
- 8th May 2017 – North East Fife
Aberdeen City Twilight Session (venue and time tbc): 10th May 2017
Inverness All Day event (for senior leaders) at Smithton-Culloden Free Church – 1st June 2017
If you would like more information about these sessions or opportunities in your area please contact us.