Young people given a HeadStart into the world of work

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Young people from several schools across the city have been recognised for their efforts in two HeadStart Wolverhampton programmes designed to help prepare them for the world of work.

Pupils from Moreton School, Colton Hills Community School, Moseley Park School, The Khalsa Academy, Heath Park School, Ormiston SWB Academy and St Matthias School attended a special celebration event hosted by the Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor Claire Darke at the Civic Centre today (Tuesday 2 July) after completing the Jumpstart and Work Ready programmes.

Activities within Jumpstart, which is aimed at Year 7 pupils, include exploring and developing employability skills, encouraging students to explore what kinds of jobs that are available and giving them the opportunity to meet with employers to apply the skills and information they have learned.

The second programme, Work Ready, is a continuation of Jumpstart aimed at Year 8 and 9 pupils. Work Ready focuses on aspiration and motivation, skills for work and goal setting to inspire a positive future for the young people involved.

Activities across the sessions included pupils making a giraffe out of just paper and tape, utilising skills such as leadership, team work and resilience to make a seemingly difficult task work. They also had to create posters depicting a job advert from the future, as well as exploring what the world of work could be like in the future when they are old enough to begin work.

Both programmes are commissioned by HeadStart Wolverhampton and delivered by Connexions Wolverhampton and Wolverhampton Education Business Partnership.

Also in attendance at today’s event were the Cabinet Member for Education and Skills Councillor Dr Mike Hardacre, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People Councillor John Reynolds and a number of key regional figures such as Assistant Police Crime Commissioner Ashley Bertie, who delivered a keynote speech and Vital, a local rapper and radio presenter for BBC WM.

Councillor Hardacre, who presented certificates to employers, said: “It is great to see pupils from secondary schools across the city taking part in these programmes.

 “The activities that they include are vital in making sure that young people, our city’s key asset, are prepared for the world of work.”

Councillor Reynolds, who presented certificates to schools part in the programmes, added: “Programmes like Jumpstart and Work Ready not only provide young people with essential knowledge to get them ready for work, but also nurture them and help make the city a better place as a whole.”

Mr Bertie spoke about his experiences growing up, the challenging nature of his job, and why he had chosen to work for the police. He said: “The HeadStart team have delivered an excellent range of motivating and confidence building programmes and have really engaged with the students.”

HeadStart Wolverhampton, part of a £56 million National Lottery funded programme set-up by the National Lottery Community Fund, is designed to improve the emotional mental health and wellbeing of children and young people aged 10 to 16 by giving them the skills they need to cope with the challenges of modern life.

HeadStart Wolverhampton runs a series of specific programmes in its four key target areas: Low Hill, The Scotlands and Bushbury South; Heath Town, Park Village, Eastfield, Springfield and Old Heath; Bilston East; All Saints, Blakenhall, Parkfields and Ettingshall.

Citywide help is available through the HeadStart Wolverhampton Support and Guidance Directory at http://support.headstartonline.co.uk which provides emotional mental health and wellbeing resources from different organisations, including information targeted at young people, parents and carers, and professionals.

To find out more about HeadStart, please visit www.headstartonline.co.uk, follow @headstartfm on Twitter or Instagram, or find HeadStart on Facebook at www.facebook.com/headstartfm.

Connexions Wolverhampton is based at the Civic Centre and provides advice and practical support to help young people achieve their career goals, helping them understand the options open to them after they leave school and helping them make decisions about next steps.

For more information, visit www.connexionswolverhampton.co.uk, email connexions@wolverhampton.gov.uk or call 01902 554499. People can also meet Connexions advisors at the Civic Centre on Wednesdays and Fridays from 1.30pm-4.30pm. Please ask for Connexions at the main reception desk.