How can we help young people navigate the labour market? NCFE’s contribution

Anthony Haynes writes: At the recent Voice of Apprenticeship conference I was very pleased to meet staff from NCFE and to learn more about the awards they offer. As a result of that conversation, we invited NCFE to contribute a guest post to our blog. I’m delighted now to present this post from NCFE Chief Executive, David Grailey.

PrintAbout NCFE: NCFE is a national Awarding Organisation, passionate about designing, developing and certificating diverse, nationally recognised qualifications and awards. These qualifications contribute to the success of millions of learners at all levels, bringing them closer to fulfilling their personal goals.

Last year, over 340,000 learners from over 2,000 colleges, schools and training organisations chose NCFE as the awarding organisation to help them move their careers forward.

David-GraileyDavid Grailey writes: Employability is a key focus for us here at NCFE. With unemployment among the under-25s at almost one million and more than one in five of our young people out of work, it’s becoming impossible to ignore the challenges faced by jobless young people in the UK today.

What’s more, according to employers, many young people are leaving education ill-equipped to face the competitive labour market, lacking the core employability skills and mindset that companies are looking for.

According to research carried out by recruitment giant REED and supported by Harvard University, 97% of employers would choose mindset over skillset as the key element in those they seek to employ and retain (‘Put your Mindset To Work’ by James Reed & Paul G Stoltz PhD, 2011

Responding to this finding, NCFE teamed up in partnership with REED to develop a range of qualifications (Job Search and Interview Skills and Job Search and Employability Skills) that focus on developing the right attitude in young people.

The awards equip learners with the ability to identify vacancies, promote themselves, prepare for a job interview and maximise their chance of success at interview.

We offer many more employability-related qualifications, which boost confidence, build transferable skills and provide an understanding of the world of work. Qualifications such as Employability Skills, Occupational Studies, Developing Skills for the Workplace, Working Together, Making Progress and Problem Solving can all provide building blocks to a career in any sector area.

We’ve also developed a portfolio of individual units to support unemployed learners gain their first job or return to work. These units provide bite-sized chunks of learning in relevant areas, for example Business and Customer Awareness, Dealing With Your First Days at Work, Presenting Yourself for Work, How to Keep Improving and many more.

NCFE fully supports apprenticeships as a gateway to a successful career and we were encouraged to hear the Government recently re-affirming their commitment to work based training, calling upon employers, educators and MPs to expand apprenticeship roles for young people.

According to recent statistics, apprentices could add up to £3.4bn a year in economic gains. It’s never been more important to raise the status of quality apprenticeships as an alternative to higher education, allowing learners to earn while they learn and gain that all-important work experience.

With this in mind, NCFE offers almost 50 full apprenticeship packages in a range of industry areas as well as qualifications that support progression into apprenticeships.

For more information about NCFE’s employability-related portfolio of qualifications or apprenticeships, please visit our website or give us a call on 0191 239 8000 for more information – we’re always happy to hear from you.

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