The Prince’s Trust is currently piloting a programme called Future Starts. These are taster days for S4 and S5 students to explore potential careers in an actual workplace. These industries include Hospitality, Retail, Automotive, Technologies, Construction, Sport, Hair & Beauty and Childcare.
The Future Starts pilot is partially funded by the Wood Foundation and partly by the Scottish Government. The programme began in 2015 and is funded for two years through June 2017. The East programmes include Dundee, Fife and Edinburgh. The West programmes include Glasgow and North Lanarkshire.
Future Starts is aimed at students in the Senior Phase who are at risk of becoming disengaged. Students sign up for at least three taster days. The tasters run up to Easter. Then from Easter to summer, students will have a work placement. The length of the placement varies, but the minimum is six days. Most students are not doing National 5 exams and plan to be early school leavers.
As part of the programme, students can complete an Prince’s Trust qualification with their school. The unit is called “Personal Development and Employability”. This can be at Levels 3, 4 and 5. The unit includes: skills identification, career planning, preparation for work placement, review of work placement, CV writing, interview skills and help with job applications.
Future Starts is being externally evaluated by a consultant. The evaluation includes determining why students choose to stay at school, why they chose to leave school, progression after work placements, and feedback from employers/teachers/students. An interim report was published in January 2016. The final report will be published in September 2016.
On February 4, 2016, a group of 20 students from Edinburgh attended a Hospitality taster day at the Double Tree Hilton Hotel on Bread Street. 10 girls and 10 boys attended from schools including: Holyrood, Portobello, Liberton, Firhill, Craigmount and Woodlands. Organising the day were:
James Hopgood, Future Starts Programme Executive
Katie Stewart, Future Starts Manager
Clare Sowney, Princes Trust Business Development Manager
Alain Marzolff, Deputy Manager of the Double Tree Hilton Hotel
The programme for the day included an introduction from the hotel Deputy Manager during which he showed the students two videos on the Hilton staff, their roles and Hospitality, and the history of the Hilton chain started by Conrad Hilton. After this, the students divided into smaller groups and tried the various areas and jobs: kitchen, front of house, housekeeping, accounting, restaurant and events management.