Three Plymouth students are the first in the city to receive their employability passport awards.
The passports, which were rolled out across city schools last year, give employers more information about students other than just their qualifications, including attitude, punctuality and communication skills. Developed by schools working in partnership with Plymouth City Council, they are also embraced by local businesses that recognise its value to provide better opportunities to create smooth transitions into future employment.
The three schools involved in the pilot project have now awarded pupils who are the first to achieve success. 14 year old Jessica Budd from Plymouth High School for girls was presented with a gold award and said: “The Employability Passport has helped me to improve a wide range of skills and therefore develop a stronger CV. Having goals to work towards has motivated me to volunteer, look for various work experience placements, and participate in School Clubs and generally to become more involved. I think that the skills I have developed through completing the Employability Passport have made me more employable as I have developed the confidence to try new things.”
16 year old Oliver Priestley from Eggbuckland Community College has achieved a Bronze Award and 16 year old James O’Connell was the first of four students at Devonport High School for Boys to receive a silver award. He said: “The Employability Passport has been really useful because it has recognised things I’ve already been doing and has also helped me gain vital skills needed for my future career. I have found speaking to large groups a problem before, but through the motivation the passport gave me I have been able to talk to employers and also teach some lessons to younger students at my school.”
Sue Moreton the IAG Co-ordinator from Devonport High School for Boys agreed and said: “I am delighted to see students being recognised and rewarded for developing these vital skills – not “soft” skills, but significant; substantial; serious skills.”
Leader of Plymouth City Council Tudor Evans said: “Congratulations to Jessica, Oliver and James for being the first students to complete their employability passports. I’m absolutely passionate that all our young people achieve the best in life, so it’s really important that they not only have good academic qualifications but they are also able to demonstrate some important life skills like organising, managing time and problem solving for potential employers as well.”
The whole project helps embed work skills into the curriculum through real life projects and work placements and greater engagement between businesses and schools. This then demonstrates to prospective employers, or Higher Education providers, the work and employability skills that students have gained. The Passport has three levels of awards, bronze, silver and gold depending on levels of achievement.