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Take a look at the LifeSkills programme and let us know your thoughts for your chance to win £200 of John Lewis vouchers - NOW CLOSED

(83 Posts)
KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 14-Jun-13 16:24:02

You might have seen that Mumsnet is supporting the new LifeSkills programme, created with Barclays. It's something we all feel passionate about, and as you've told us, young people need help if they're going to get into the world of work.

Take a look at LifeSkills, and tell us how you think it's doing? Pledge your support by clicking on the widget above.

LifeSkills Work Week runs from 17 to 21 June 2013 and is an opportunity for schools to get their pupils involved in a range of work-related opportunities, from LifeSkills workshops and resources, careers fairs and business and parent speaking opportunities as well as getting their students out on work experience opportunities.

There are lots of ways you can support the LifeSkills movement. And if you're already getting involved, let us know how!

Let us know your thoughts on this thread - everyone who adds a comment or shares how they are supporting the programme will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £200 John Lewis voucher.



maternitart Mon 17-Jun-13 21:44:54

Great idea, I think understanding how professional life works and getting a realistic view into how they might use their skills is really valuable. It could even inspire them to follow a specific career path, or just as importantly put them off something they were considering before they start training for it!

I'm slightly skeptical that for a lot of employers they wouldn't just end up being the tea boy/girl for the week, or get any real insight into industry. Getting valuable work experience in my workplace is virtually impossible, as everyone is too busy to really invest the time to show them how everything works, and colleagues make little to no effort with the placements as they know they'll only be around for a week or two (if that).

sharond101 Mon 17-Jun-13 21:49:09

This looks really good and much better than the placements we were offered at school. The experience is invaluable and is currently under funded.

dahville Tue 18-Jun-13 06:56:13

Some biscuits still out there on the mumsnet page(typo 'sad' instead of 'said'?):

I think this is a good start but I'm more interested in what the kids going through the programme will think and how they will suggest the program and pages can be changed to better suit their needs. We're looking at things from an adult point of view and the kids will relate diofferently.

I've shared the Barclays link with my husband and stepson as I think it is a worthwhile resource.

SacreBlue Tue 18-Jun-13 13:17:15

I can't find the list of schools already signed up or if it is a regional scheme or national? Are these bits of info only available once you've registered as I can see a reference to 'schools that have signed up' but no actual list if them.

HomageToCannelloni Tue 18-Jun-13 13:18:33

Just echoing the 'looks good but distrust the Barclays link' sentiment. If the government can afford to give multimillion pound grants to banks for this sort of thing them why is there not an independent organisation being given the money to do it instead? Also agree that this should already be in place for all schools. When I was at school every single fifth year did a weeks work experience...not always at great places, but it was still experience of a workplace, which is essential.

DoodleAlley Tue 18-Jun-13 14:19:04

I think it looks great and wish it had been around when I was a teenager.

Helping with CVs and interview techniques and getting kids out into the workplace should help their confidence and to allow them to shine to the best of their abilities.

Shame on the government for not doing more though.

nextphase Tue 18-Jun-13 17:31:00

Looks great in principle. Don't get what barclays get out of it, and since I'm sure they aren't doing purely altruistic stuff, there must be a catch somewhere.

The practical bit seems to go along what already happens at work. I don't mind the kids who come through and are genuinely interested in a science / engineering job, but the ones (yes, I've had more than one) "I don't want to do science, but daddy knows someone who works here, and I have to do a weeks work experience" really wind me up - it takes a lot of time to keep a young person safe and involved, and if they don't want to do it, why should I use the time I could be doing something else. So, I guess careful pairing of kids with placements required.

Zoomania Tue 18-Jun-13 18:49:37

Looks great. Interview skills, cv advice and work experience are all crucial for giving teenagers the confidence to go out and look for work.

missorinoco Tue 18-Jun-13 22:09:18

I think this is a great idea. It is sad public funding does not cover this, and I doubt Barclays are being entirely altruistic here, it is great publicity if nothing else, but frankly, good for them for getting ahead of the game and filling a need.

The practical aspects being taught such as CV writing will be invaluable. We certainly didn't have that at school in the eighties.

TheFutureMrsB Wed 19-Jun-13 02:59:17

It's really good as teens are stuck now really, in my local area they have stopped the sixth form and they now have to go to college, I think this can help them more as there isn't much out there anymore.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 19-Jun-13 06:19:28

It looks really good. The lack of careers advice and support for young people is worrying. I used to teach young people similar stuff such as budgeting, cv writing. But the groups of young people I was allowed to work with was limited due to funding and then funding by the council was pulled all together. The careers office in town also shut down.

I've seen shocking examples of CVs from people. One stand out one didn't even have the blokes name on and he was a graduate. So a supposedly intelligent person, just no idea about a cv as he'd never been taught.

aftermay Wed 19-Jun-13 08:19:53

I agree about the importance of writing a CV and I know there are companies out there who do that for various professions. Without taking away from the expertise required it is, though, at that age, only a matter of a few sessions. I mean, there's not a huge amount you can write once you've put your cubs in and enumerated your badges. It shouldn't needs a great big dollop of Barclays to take you through that.

aftermay Wed 19-Jun-13 08:20:53

(they'd obviously go through typos smile

ThePortlyPinUp Wed 19-Jun-13 08:46:13

I can remember doing this as a teenager and it did prove very informative, it helped me to decide to do a 3 year apprenticeship rather than a college course I'd applied for. I'm shocked that its now up to the individual school to provide careers advice.

OrangeMochaFrappucino Wed 19-Jun-13 09:16:20

I think teaching young people to manage money is invaluable - I wish I'd had a better understanding when I was a teenager of how to budget! With credit being so available and traps like payday loans being so easy to fall intothis is a crucial life skill.

wickeddevil Wed 19-Jun-13 09:45:11

I think there is some good stuff here. As a parent I believe that teenagers benefit from information from a range of sources, including industry. While it is valid to ask what is in it for Barclays, the truth is that despite the best efforts of many schools and colleges, the teachers don't always have the breadth of experience necessary.
My DCs have received advice from school and college, but I have also supported them to look at other information, and will be sharing this link. My Son is already doing an apprenticeship in engineering, but DD in year 10 and due to take Gcses next year, is already being told by her school that the only route to a secure future is to do a levels and go to a Russell group uni. She would like a career in fashion, possibly design, and so I would like her to be aware of more options than those currently being presented by her school.
I like the programmes plans re improving people's CV writing, interview skills and communication. As an employer I often see poorly completed application forms, and meet people at interview who are not appropriately dressed and unable to make eye contact. I think young people could really benefit from some input here. This stuff matters.

Kveta Wed 19-Jun-13 10:31:52

this sounds like a great idea - I loved work experience at school, and hope it's still available in 12 years or so, when my children are old enough to do it.

prettybird Wed 19-Jun-13 13:44:35

Looks good in principle but although it says it is UK wide, in practice some elements are not compatible with Scotland.

For example, the "LifeSkills Work Week" (17-21 June) is the penultimate week of school for most many Scottish pupils, with only 2 and a half days in school next day (in ds' case, one of those being prize giving), so no time whatsoever for the teachers to consolidate what may have been learnt during the week - quite apart from the fact that many schools are using this time to move on to the next year's timetable, so that the kids can hit the ground running when the new year starts in August.

AllSWornOut Wed 19-Jun-13 20:25:13

Well, I think the money management and communication skills bits look the best parts of the programme. I found work experience placements to be rather mixed in value when I did them. Now being on the other side of the fence I think it's more important to teach young people about professional behavior of which the most important is, IMHO, communicating appropriately.

I just hope that plenty of firms sign up to offer a wide range of placements.

Blu Wed 19-Jun-13 20:46:20

I ike much of the approach - the sections that work is headed under, and the quiz structure. If i was a school I would see this as a very good resource, I think. Also, something to go through with DS as he approaches his pre-adult years.

I found it hard to reach the interesting, interactive bits of the site...

We can equip young people with the best skills they can get - but in the current market all that enables them to do is compete more effectively for the few jobs that exist. The many will still be left by the wayside. Young people aren't the problem: the lack of jobs and opportunities is! I would like to see a parallell programme focused on meaningful pledges to provide work where there is the greatest demand. Have you read thhis written by a guy who actually set out to get people into jobs himself. Young people need support, but public policy, social enterprise and the private sector all need to step up too, and do something meaningful. We may have to shift out of our comfort zone a bit.

In my organisation we could do more, but we are v small and every scheme makes unrealistic demands on us. meanwhile we are reluctant to exploit young people through phoney internships etc.

Blu Wed 19-Jun-13 20:52:05

I agree with the urgent need to equip young people with workplace communication skills and the ability to behave professionally.

Our newest recruit calls me 'hun' in the office, and begins e mails to me 'Hi hun' - I am the CEO! They seem to think that workplace e mails are a form of paid social media!

magentastardust Wed 19-Jun-13 23:34:35

I think the site looks good, I think it is important that there is support out there for teenagers not just for preparing CV's and interviews but also for workplace culture and how to act in that environment.
Over the last couple of years I have been quite shocked at some of the work experience pupils/students we have had in our office , there seems to be a real lack of respect with some of them taking longer than allocated lunch hours, accessing social media sites or on mobile phones texting without checking that it is okay within the company to do so, listening to music on headphones , and someone actually asked if they could go home early as they had their sisters birthday cake to bake and were really busy!!
It didn't seem to dawn on them that there would be rules in the workplace and general etiquette and a form of hierarchy /management within the office.
These individuals were all pleasant and friendly and polite but I think they were just unprepared for the working environment and how to handle themselves in a professional manner.

TheFlipsideOfTheCoin Thu 20-Jun-13 00:32:22

LOVE this idea. Schools now are so focused on exam prep that many kids are leaving without knowing any essential skills that will help them once they enter the world of work.

I crumbled under the pressure from my first job as a waitress because I was completely unprepared for the demands of a workplace. At school I was spoofed and supported in everything I attempted. At work, I was constantly under pressure to deliver or face the sack. It sounds silly, but I was only 14 and I found the whole experience fairly traumatising (although I did have a particularly nasty boss...).

CV skills would be useful also. We never got taught how to write one so had to just make it up with the help of Google when it came to it for me.

hermancakedestroyer Thu 20-Jun-13 07:44:10

I read the above comments with interest. Yes, this sort of information should be provided in schools however, the government have reduced and are continuing to reduce the amount of money that they give schools to provide careers advice and work experience placements and there is a real fear that the careers program will be scrapped altogether if the funding is not there. In this day and age and in this economic climate young people need all the help they can get getting into the workplace and I'm afraid the government are letting them down.

hermancakedestroyer Thu 20-Jun-13 07:47:36

Having said that I think giving students life skills such as CV writing and practice interviews as mentioned in the lifeskills programme are invaluable but I don't think Barclays should be funding this - this should be coming out of our taxpayers fund.

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