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Improving employability skills in schools – Network N

European Regional Development FundGames Media Group, Network N, wanted to make an impact in their community and inspire local young people to work at their company.

By joining West of England Combined Authority’s Workforce for the Future programme (co-funded by the West of England Combined Authority and the European Social Fund (ESF)), Network N were introduced to Ralph Allen Secondary School in Bath and delivered a successful employability skills lesson for year 11 pupils.

What promises to be the start of a meaningful relationship with the school, Network N have taught students valuable skills, whilst helping to raise their business profile to attract future talent.

Bringing careers education to life

Our West of England Careers Hub, connects small to medium-sized employers (SMEs) with education and training providers across the region, helping to inform the skills and knowledge young people need for future employment.

Sue Rogers, Assistant Careers Leader at Ralph Allen School, worked closely with the business to develop an employability skills lesson that took a practical approach to CVs, covering letters and interview skills.

The lesson was led by Mary Jo Cabanes-Book, HR Manager at Network N, as part of wider careers-related activities that take place at the school.

Sue Rogers said:

“Mary Jo covered a huge amount. From my perspective, it was great as she 'made real' my theoretical lessons on covering letters. Mary Jo also talked about CVs, employment skills and labour market information. I couldn't have asked for a better session.

“During the lesson, students asked questions, put forward suggestions, shared ideas and were engaged throughout. One pupil asked for Mary Jo's business card at the end and wanted to know how to get an apprenticeship.”

Network N have accessed a variety of support on offer from Workforce for the Future, helping to attract, retain and develop talented employees so their business can thrive.

"The support we have received from the Workforce for the Future programme has been invaluable for us, helping to reach our goals of making an impact in our community"

Mary Jo - HR Manager at Network N

European Regional Development FundMary Jo said:

"The support we have received from the Workforce for the Future programme has been invaluable for us, helping to reach our goals of making an impact in our community. We had a vision of inspiring young people and giving them opportunities, but we had no idea where to start.

“Jane Yorke, the Combined Authority’s Workforce for the Future Education Coordinator, has been patient and proactive, she has connected us with so many partners to help us achieve our goals in all different ways, from becoming disability confident to apprenticeships and work experience. We couldn't have done any of this without her support."

Following the success of the session, some additional activities are being discussed to continue working with school. These include collaborating with students on Network N’s TikTok channel, contributing to IT/Computer Science, English and Business Studies lessons at the school, and hosting a cover letter writing session for year 10 pupils to apply for real work placement opportunities. Watch this space!