Laying the foundations for a better future

Laying foundations for better future Nine students from Neath Port Talbot College studying the Level 1 Diploma in Brickwork recently undertook various ‘Life Skills’ workshops as part of an initiative led by Careers Wales designed to encourage them to pursue further education, training or employment on successful completion of their course.

The ASKE project (Attitude, Skills and Knowledge for Employment) is the first of its kind in Wales and was delivered by Careers Wales College based Careers Advisers Debbie James-Haley and Michele David. It aimed to provide the students who are most at risk of unemployment in the future with the confidence and invaluable key skills needed to secure full time work, training or to continue in education.

Run over 6 months, the programme included hands-on and interactive workshops such as money management, confidence building, presenting yourself, goal setting, CV writing, behaviour at work, as well as enhancing basic skills such as English, Mathematics and ICT, which employers also highlight as being important in the workplace.

The students will now receive guidance and encouragement on considering their options for the future with continual support from both Neath Port Talbot College and Careers Wales staff.  The ultimate goal was for the students to stay in contact with Careers Wales, improving their chances of finding work, training or higher education when they had completed their course.

In the current economic climate it is very common for school and college leavers to have trouble finding work and Careers Wales offers support and training to young people before they face these types of barriers.  Prevention really is the best method and Careers Wales aims to equip students with the skills they need to enter the world of work by the time they leave education.

Ray Collier, Regional Director of Careers Wales said: “Being NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) can seriously damage a young person’s self-confidence and long-term prospects.  The aim of the ASKE project is to engage students, increase attendance, enhance employability skills and boost achievement.  Stepping in to give some extra encouragement to those students at risk of becoming NEET is a preventative measure, which not only helps the individual involved but also has long-term economic and social benefits for the country as a whole.”