Our newest school engagement scheme was a great success, helping to support the future generation of Leeds
Alongside social enterprise company, Ahead Partnership, we launched a virtual work experience programme – ‘My Experience at Wellington Place’ – to help students from Cockburn John Charles Academy school gain valuable skills and experience.
Delivered by volunteers from businesses across the Wellington Place development, including Wates Construction, Squire Patton Boggs, Ministry of Justice and Willis Towers Watson, the initiative aimed to simulate the experience of working in an organisation through a series of tasks, workshops and events, which ran across a two week period.
Dominique Simcox, Head of Customer Experience at MEPC, said: “The pandemic has been an incredibly challenging time for everyone, and whilst we’ve all suffered hardship, the impact on young people has been significant. In recent studies, experts predicted that the gap in achievement between the best and worst-off young people could widen by up to 75 and that up to 44% of young people have lower aspirations as a result of the pandemic, and we wanted to do all we could to combat that.
“We’ve worked closely with Ahead Partnership for the last few years, and we’re thrilled by the positive response we’ve had from the school and our customers that took part. We’re passionate about supporting the wider community in any way we can, and it’s more important now than ever.”
Mrs Norton, Careers and Education Employability Coordinator at Cockburn John Charles Academy, added: “We’re incredibly grateful for the opportunity given to our students to gain experience from businesses virtually, in what has been a very challenging year. When reflecting on the sessions undertaken, the students described them as ‘life-changing’. We couldn’t thank the organisations involved any more – giving our young people access to employment and career information and a better understanding of both hard and soft skills.”
Sue Jones, at Ministry of Justice, concluded: “It was fantastic to take part in the virtual work experience at Wellington Place. It’s been a great initiative to be involved with, and we hope that our sessions with the school have helped inspire the students and given them the skills and confidence to succeed in their future.”