Employability as part of Adult and 16-18 Education

Employability and the skills for proving work readiness are crucial to standing out from the crowd when it comes to the application process.

Sysco courses embed employability as part of the curriculum to not only teach traditional subjects like business and English but to ensure that our students complete employability and enrichment sessions to help them be successful once they enter the world of work. The world of work is changing dramatically, economic, societal and technological forces are leading to increased competition and we think our students need to be able to shine.

According to recent research from the CBI and Pearson Education, “Helping the UK thrive”, 86% of employers consider ‘attitude to work’ the most important factor when recruiting school leavers, compared to only 43% who rated formal qualifications as a top attribute.

The Government’s recent Good Work Plan has once again focused awareness on the implications for young people and the need to equip them with not just academic results but these core transferable employability skills. Sysco have been actively promoting this as part of our curriculum through our sister company, Brighter Futures, over the last 5 years, helping more than 80% of our students progress into employment or a higher level of education after completing one of our courses.

Latest figures from ONS show that over 11.7% of young people (aged 16 to 17) in Liverpool are not in education, employment or training (NEET), a much higher proportion than other areas in the North West, and research continues to show that UK businesses do not feel young people are ready for work when leaving education.

Despite this recognition, Liverpool businesses have growing concerns about finding enough people with the right skills, with skills gaps seen by nearly two-thirds as a threat to the UK’s competitiveness. As the new Careers Strategy and Ofsted prioritise quality careers advice, by having embedded employability teaching as part of the curriculum Sysco hope to make a difference for young people in Liverpool.

Collaboration between businesses and educators

Employers understand the labour market better than anyone. This means they have the power to deliver informed advice to education and training providers who choose to engage with them. As an Apprenticeship provider who works with a number of employers to provide training to staff, Sysco are able to use these relationships to work with employers to help to equip our Brighter Futures students with the right tools, skills and information.

Research also shows that students who interact with employers are less likely to find themselves without employment, education or training. Research undertaken with the Education and Employers Charity found that 9 out of 10 teachers believe that quality work experience and employer related activities have a direct impact on exam results and are critical to achieving good grades.

National Framework

To achieve maximum impact, Sysco and Brighter Futures will embrace a nationwide, consistent approach to employability from the Government. Encouragingly, in their response to the Taylor Review, the Government confirmed that it planned to develop a unified framework of employability skills as part of the technical education reforms and Sysco, with our existing employability programmes, will be in pole position to implement these changes.

Going forward, Sysco and Brighter Futures will continue to promote core transferable skills for the workplace. The Government’s proposed framework has the potential to prove that we were right to focus on the need to embed the best quality employability education throughout our curriculum.

We will continue to work together with employers to focus on understanding the needs of young people and employers and best prepare them for the future world of work.

More information about Brighter Futures can be found by visiting their website or Facebook page whilst information on Sysco’s Adult Education Courses can be found via our website.