Peter Jones Enterprise Academy Students with awards and prizes from their part in Barclays Prepare For Work Week

College Students Get Prepared For Work

Students from East Durham College have been given the opportunity to improve their employability skills as part of Prepare for Work, a new programme designed to help 100,000 further education college students across the UK maximise their chances of securing and maintaining employment.

The free programme, developed by the National Skills Academy for Financial Services and supported by Barclays as part of their commitment to five Million Young Futures, offers participating colleges free resources and a variety of support, including the assistance of Barclays employee volunteers, to help them deliver employability-focused activities to their students during the Spring term of 2015.

The programme also touches on financial aspects of employment and raises awareness of entrepreneurship and self-employment.

Through the Prepare for Work programme, students at East Durham College have been learning about the key skills that employers have identified as lacking in candidates. Sessions have focused on topics including CVs and interviews as well as identifying and demonstrating personal strengths during the recruitment process.

Students have also learnt about the steps to be taken when starting a business and have had the opportunity to enter their business ideas in a national Built for Business enterprise competition.

The week of events at East Durham College culminated in a fashion show on Thursday.

Students had £30 to come up with a whole outfit on the theme of ‘what to wear for a job interview’ with models then showing off the purchases on a red carpet in the Peterlee campus atrium.

Careers advisor at East Durham College, Emma Widdowson said: “We are delighted to be taking part in Prepare for Work. It’s a great initiative, which allows us to deliver high quality employability-themed activities in a way that creates a real buzz in the college and maximises student learning.

“The programme helps students to develop key skills which are critical to their future success.”

Chris Hearn, Head of Education, Barclays Corporate said: “As a long-term supporter of the Further Education sector, we’re proud to be working with the National Skills Academy to offer Prepare for Work as part of our larger commitment to build the enterprise, employability and financial skills of the next generation through 5 Million Young Futures.”

Sylvia Perrins, CEO of the National Skills Academy for Financial Services said: “I’m thrilled to be supporting young people through this programme to boost their chances of not only securing a job, but making a success of it. Prepare for Work gives students the opportunity to identify their strengths and stand out to potential employers.”

Prepare for Work is delivered in partnership with the National Skills Academy for Financial Services, alongside College Development Network in Scotland, Now, in Northern Ireland, and Wales.