During phase one of DANCOP, we delivered the Learn To Work scheme which was a four-week programme launched at Friesland Sixth Form.
The aim of the programme was to help learners who have an interest in doing either a higher or degree apprenticeship, develop key skills and knowledge to successfully get on to an apprenticeship programme. The programme also includes a fifth and final session, where learners will have the opportunity to visit an employer to gain real world experience of the working world.
We always ask learners to provide feedback after our events as this feedback is important to help us in developing our programmes in the future. After the event concluded at Friesland we received excellent feedback. However, as the aim of the programme was to support learners on to their higher education pathway, the true impact of the event is measured much later in the year. Upon leaving Friesland Sixth Form, their staff create student profiles to track their learners onward destinations. During this process, one learner spoke a lot about the Learn To Work scheme and the impact it had on them.
Personally, university wasn’t for me, I am much more of a practical person and wanted to gain first-hand experience in a business. Initially, it was quite daunting when the majority of fellow students and friends were going to university, it makes you question if you’re making the right choices.
I was fortunate to take part in the DANCOP ‘Learn to work’ scheme, which consisted of discussing to an external group of people about potential career paths. We explored our own personal skills and learned how these could be utilised in a role. A particularly useful exercise consisted of constructing CVs and taking part in mock interviews to prepare us for job applications. Processes such as this has really benefitted me and has helped me succeed in job interviews. We finished the scheme with a trip to Willmott Dixon, a construction company, where we discussed what employers look for in individuals and how to succeed in interviews, which was very insightful. Towards the completion of my A-Levels I knew I wanted to choose a career related to Business, with a particular interest in Marketing. I succeeded in securing a role as a Marketing Executive for a welding company. I learnt that as long as you work hard and reach out for support that anything can be possible.
This learner also spoke about the careers support available to them and their peers from Mr. Puddy who is the director of Friesland Sixth Form and the careers lead. We worked closely with Mr. Puddy to identify and support specific learners within Friesland and we ensured our DANCOP event complimented the existing careers support, advice and guidance. We asked Mr. Puddy what his learners took away from taking part in the scheme:
The scheme enabled students to learn about potential pathways within apprenticeships, at a range of levels and generally opened up the world of work in an aspirational way. The employer visit trip enabled students to make links between their prior learning and the actual workplace and fostered ambition through access to young role models who were engaged in fulfilling and rewarding roles within a respected construction company.
The scheme helped students to make decisions regarding their preferred choice of next step, with an assured understanding of application processes and how to promote yourself during interviews. The scheme fostered communication skills, both verbal and written and provided support with understanding the various platforms that employers and training providers use, including social media. The tone of delivery was professional but sufficiently relaxed and informal to allow students to develop rather than feeling overwhelmed.
It is wonderful to hear positive feedback from Friesland and their learners more than a year after delivering our Learn To Work scheme. We continue to work with Friesland to support their learners and compliment their offer. If you would like to know how we can work with your school or college to support your learners needs and compliment your offer, reach out to your project officer today.