Finding the right career path only a click away

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Friday, March 17, 2017 at 10:34AM

Inspira, the leading career management and personal development organisation in Cumbria offers a number of routes to help young people and adults prepare themselves to apply for apprenticeships.

With centres in Barrow, Carlisle, Workington and Whitehaven, and a new location due to open in the Foyer in Kendal – Inspira’s experienced advisers not only signpost people to opportunities, but create a plan for individuals which includes bespoke one-to-one sessions and workshops to develop employability skills.

“Working with schools and employers, we are able to create wrap around support services for young people and adults to help them achieve success in life and work,” said Mark Bowman, chief executive of Inspira.

“We recently relaunched our website at www.inspira.org.uk so that we can guide people to the exact help they need, whether that is help with interview preparation, building work ready skills or getting involved in character building programmes.”

Inspirational support for NEET young people

One of Inspira’s latest innovative programmes is Launchpad.

Aimed at young people aged 16-17 in the Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) or at risk of NEET group, this programme provides intensive support to help young people access developmental activities to increase their employability, as well as help to access accredited and non-accredited learning.

Following an initial one-to-one assessment, it explores an individual’s strengths, skills, aspirations and career opportunities. Advisers then create a bespoke learning plan tailored to the client’s needs to enable them to progress and move forward to find training or learning opportunities.

Inspira also delivers this programme in Lancaster and Morecambe under the name Moving On.

Young people without a clear plan about what they want to do after year 11 are encouraged to get in touch with Inspira.

Launchpad is delivered by Inspira, funded through the European Social Fund, and is commissioned by the Skills Funding Agency on behalf of the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Six Cumbrian schools named NCS Champions

National Citizen Service (NCS), the UK’s flagship youth programme for 16 and 17 year olds, has awarded Champion School status to 345 schools across England, including six in Cumbria.

The status has been given to those institutions who have excelled in promoting the programme and recruiting young people to take part over the last academic year.

“We are extremely pleased to see so many schools in Cumbria achieve this status,” said Pete Alger, director at Inspira. “Inspira manages NCS in Cumbria and Lancashire and over the last five years we have seen a steady growth in the numbers and the excitement of young people to spend part of their summer on this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

The schools that have been awarded the status are:

  • Dowdales – Barrow in Furness

  • St Bernard’s Catholic School – Barrow in Furness

  • Netherhall School – Maryport

  • Trinity School – Carlisle

  • Caldew School – Dalston

  • Energy Coast UTC - Workington.

    Champion School head teachers and staff in Cumbria noted the positive effect that participation on NCS has on both young people and their wider institutions.

    Schools that have significant numbers of pupils taking part in NCS have seen a notable change in pupil wellbeing and engagement with academic work.

    For young people, NCS provides a host of practical and emotional benefits, among them a positive contribution to UCAS personal statements and wider social and personal development.

    Nearly three quarters of those who have taken part in NCS feel more confident about getting a job, and nine in ten feel that it has helped them develop useful skills for the future. They also demonstrate high levels of confidence and resilience, and report lower levels of anxiety than their peers.

    Lucy Kennett, a year 12 student at Energy Coast UTC, said: “NCS was an amazing experience to follow and I had no regrets about doing it.

    “I have made a lot of new friends and am now involved in the NCS Graduate Programme, which is really good because I am able to build up my confidence and communication skills more and more.

    “I am getting the skills I need to prepare me for sixth form and my future job opportunities.

    “I am also looking into taking my experience further by doing ICS (International Citizen Service) when I am 18, as it means my experience doesn’t have to end just yet.”

    NCS is a four-week programme for 16 and 17-year-olds which takes place during school holidays. The programme involves teenagers meeting other local young people from a range of backgrounds, living independently, and developing new skills while learning more about their communities and how they can make a difference through social action projects.

    To find out more about NCS and sign up go to ncsnorthwest.co.uk

    Understand the needs of future employees

    Working with the Careers and Enterprise Company, Inspira is recruiting employer mentors to work with young people in Cumbrian schools.

    “This initiative complements the work we are doing in the county with our partners to engage schools and employers and help young people find their career direction,” said David Leadbetter, contract manager at Inspira.

    “To start with, we are linking 15 mentors with schools in the north of the county. It is a great opportunity for employers to gain a greater understanding of the challenges young people face as well as guiding young people towards successful and rewarding lives and careers.”

    If you would like more information about how to get involved with Inspria’s Employer Mentoring scheme in Cumbria go to inspira.org.uk/employer-mentoring

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