Over 1000 local students receive support from Doncaster Skills Academy

The Doncaster Skills Academy is a bespoke package of support available to schools via the Doncaster Chamber and their partners, which aims to complement their existing provision, to further enhance the future work prospects of local students.

The Skills Academy offer a variety of interventions such as giving students real life work experiences and support from local businesses through a variety of means, such as mentoring, business visits and internships, as well as providing them with up to date information on the skill needs of local businesses and the variety of career opportunities available to them within the area.

The Skills Academy launched in March this year, and have already interacted with over 1,000 students within Doncaster schools. Students at Hall Cross Academy, Don Valley Academy and Sir Thomas Wharton Community College have completed various modules to support their future career development.

In addition to this, all 17 schools within the Doncaster borough have received copies of the Skills Academy’s ‘Employability Competences’ guide for students, which identifies the key skills, attributes and attitudes businesses look for when recruiting.

The Skills Academy offers bespoke packages of support, meaning that each school receives a tailored experience to reflect their individual needs. Local businesses participating in the delivery of modules include: Doncaster Rovers, Inativ, Polypipe, Atherton Godfrey and Pennine Stone to name a few.

Hall Cross Academy held a ‘Skills Morning’ which included a presentation to students on the employment landscape of Doncaster, mock interviews with local businesses, and support with CV writing and job applications.

Nick Watts, Head of Sixth Form at Hall Cross Academy said: "…We are absolutely committed to ensuring our students are fully prepared for their future pathways and the world of work. It is therefore fantastic to be able to work in partnership with the Doncaster Skills Academy and Chamber of Commerce….The students benefitted hugely from this experience and we look forward to inviting the Skills Academy back next year."

Don Valley Academy held a number of ‘Information Sessions’ for students, including talks from local businesses on a range of subjects such as the different types of job opportunities in Doncaster and jobs available within science, technology, engineering and maths. The school also held sessions looking at different career paths, using famous people as examples (e.g. Richard Branson and Jessica Ennis) and the skills and attributes needed for their roles.

Sir Thomas Wharton Community College held a ‘Tour de France’ day for students, which included a wide range of activities related to the cycling event linking with all curriculum subjects, all supported by local businesses.

Kevin Grand, Head of Business, Enterprise and ICT  at Sir Thomas Wharton Community College commented:  "Tina Slater from Doncaster Skills Academy was excellent from start to finish in organising Business Support. For busy business professionals to give up their time to help our students is superb. Each business mentor was brilliant in the level of support they provided. Thank you so much."

Going forward, the Doncaster Skills Academy will continue to work with local schools to create bespoke packages of support for students over the next academic year.

If you would like further information on how your business could help to support the programme or your school would like to become involved, please email skillsacademy@doncaster-chamber.co.uk.

Visit www.doncasterskillsacademy.co.uk  for more information.

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