Jameela Jamil and Karren Brady help launch new work experience scheme

This week, Jameela Jamil and Karren Brady were announced as Ambassadors for LifeSkills, a major new programme from Barclays to bring business, schools and government together to remove the barriers young people face in moving from school to work.

Businesswoman Karren Brady and TV and radio presenter Jameela Jamil are passionate about using their experience to support young people to achieve their potential, whilst inspiring businesses to get involved and provide the opportunities young people need to succeed. Joining Karren Brady and Jameela Jamil as LifeSkills Ambassadors are entrepreneurs Thea Green, Founder of Nails Inc. and presenter and sports personality Colin Jackson.

The LifeSkills initiative has been developed to address the barriers young people identified around moving from school to work. According to the Barclays Youth Barometer, six in 10 (61%) of those aged 14-25 predict it will be harder to get a job on leaving school in the next six months than today.  Three quarters (72%) don’t believe they will achieve their career ambitions, whilst nearly a third of young people (28%) believe they don’t have the necessary connections to succeed.

Karren Brady commented: “Supporting the next generation into work is vital to the health of every business in the UK. They are our future work force but also our future entrepreneurs. That’s why I’m calling on businesses large and small to join the Let’s Go to Work initiative and get involved through LifeSkills to transform the opportunities available to young people. It will provide the practical support you need to offer young people the work experience that will be so critical to their – and our economy’s – future.  Go on, sign up and let’s together give one million young people the skills they need to be successful.”

Jameela Jamil commented: “I know first-hand just how overwhelming it can be to think about finding a job after school, particularly if you leave without many qualifications. It can feel impossible to know where to start when you face so many barriers to being successful in what you want to do. That’s why I’m supporting LifeSkills and calling on schools and businesses to work together to transform the opportunities available to young people as they leave school. The LifeSkills resources give practical guidance on everything from the people skills to the money skills needed for work. With your teachers’ help, LifeSkills will also match you to work experience in your local area. Check it out online or speak to your teacher to find out more. It will give you the head start you need as you start your career.”

CREDIT: Anthony Upton/PA

Antony Jenkins, Barclays Group Chief Executive said: “We face a major challenge in supporting our young people to make the transition from education into the world of work. This challenge has never been greater for modern western economies like the UK, where the employment landscape is radically different and much more competitive compared to thirty years ago. The opportunities we provide now to our young people for them to shape and realise their aspirations will have a profound impact on our economy and society.

“This is why we are launching LifeSkills in collaboration with business, government and education providers, to transform the opportunities open to young people.  The first step of this journey is helping them to make the transition from school to the workplace, which LifeSkills has been specifically created to address. It will provide free resources to schools and has also been designed to reach those not in education or training via sessions held in Barclays branches or access to the modules online. We, along with other businesses across the UK, aim to provide opportunities to learn from an employer through 50,000 work experience roles. We believe this approach, delivered through partnership, will achieve the lasting change our society requires.”

Latest research from the Education and Employers Taskforce reveals the difference that being work-ready makes, with young people who have skills training – such as CV writing or work experience – earning on average 18%* more than those without. LifeSkills will provide as many young people as possible access to these skills, increasing their employability and earning potential. Barclays is investing £5 million into the programme in 2013, and will be providing further commitment over the coming two years.

LifeSkills is a new curriculum linked education programme that aims by 2015 to equip one million young people with the skills they need for work and connect them with work experience opportunities. From next month teachers will be able to access a range of free resources designed to develop the skills employers most seek in young people covering topics such as writing a CV, managing money, and building self-confidence. After completing the modules in class or online, teachers can then match students to local work experience opportunities.

During 2013 LifeSkills aim is to make 50,000 work experience opportunities available. Barclays will provide at least 6,000 opportunities and is encouraging businesses of all sizes across the UK to get involved. Waitrose, Centrica, ISS and McDonald’s will be working together with Barclays on LifeSkills to help unlock work experience opportunities for 14-16 year olds.  Barclays is also working in partnership with plotr, a new industry-led and government backed careers platform, which will extend the reach of the Lifeskills programme through their partners and tie it in with other employability resources.  Young people who complete the LifeSkills modules will be able to access work experience opportunities from the many businesses who are part of the plotr community, who in turn will benefit from a pool of candidates who have completed basic work skills learning.

To find out more and register for information, go to www.barclayslifeskills.com

Images courtesy of: Anthony Upton/PA

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