PEOPLE from Bradford are being recruited to help improve children’s job prospects through employment workshops.
A new programme, called Words for Work, is being run through the National Literacy Trust Hub in Bradford.
As part of the scheme, 12 staff from employers in the district visited Hanson Academy for a day. A group of 200 pupils worked with staff from Bradford Council, West Yorkshire Police and Airedale NHS Foundation Trust.
The visitors were quizzed about their jobs and explained the importance of communication and teamwork.
Words for Work aims to improve young people’s communication and literacy skills, boost self-confidence and teach them how to adapt their communication skills to suit different situations at work. It will start in full with a five week programme at Hanson Academy in September.
Hanson Academy English teacher Stacy Walsh said: “The day was such a success that we are now recruiting more volunteers to take part in sessions in the next academic year.
“We are looking for volunteers working in a range of industries and jobs so our pupils, who all have different interests and talents, are made aware of the many opportunities available to them and the importance of good communication skills in every role.”
Chris Watson, an English programme coordinator Pipeline Productions in Great Horton Road, is a volunteer for the five week programme. He said the scheme was a “fantastic experience” for young people.
“I’ve enjoyed sharing stories to illustrate successful communication, as well as showing how easy it is to be misunderstood, and I hope the pupils have been able to learn from them,” he added.
“I could see the students found interviewing a variety of new people from a range of career backgrounds really empowering and it’s been great to see their confidence grow.
“It’s a brilliant way to help young people discover that there are many things you can do outside the world of school and show them how to make these new ideas a reality.”
One of the Hanson pupils taking part in the programme is Riley Heal, 13.
He said: “I’m really enjoying the programme as I now have a better idea of what to expect when I go to my first job interview,” he said.
“Its taught me about positive body language and I feel more confident about talking with different people and asking them questions; I think it’s a really beneficial programme for students my age.”
Imran Hafeez, manager of the National Literacy Trust hub in Bradford, wants more businesses to get involved.
“Volunteers with a range of backgrounds are sharing what they have learned during their careers and the importance of communication in every job,” he added.
“We hope this inspires pupils from Hanson Academy to think about roles they may not have been aware of or considered before, and would like to encourage more local employers to get involved in the Words for Work initiative.”
To get involved with the scheme, o r for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.