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Barclays launches intensive skills training for Bury schoolchildren

  • 11 secondary schools will join the bank’s LifeSkills programme, which aims to raise students’ aspirations and ambitions

  • The students will receive mentoring and practical employability sessions

  • First step in Barclays’ three-year commitment to boosting Bury’s economic growth through the bank’s Thriving Local Economies initiative

Barclays has partnered with 11 local secondary schools to deliver a bespoke skills training programme that aims to boost the aspirations and ambitions of Bury’s young people.

Starting in February, the students will receive an intensive, tailored version of the bank’s LifeSkills programme, which has already helped over 6.7 million young people in the UK. The schools taking part are The Derby High School, Broad Oak Sports College, Castlebrook High School, Parrenthorn High School, Philips High School, Prestwich Arts College, St Gabriel's RC High School, St Monica's RC High School, The Elton High School, Tottington High School and Woodhey High School.

This partnership is the first step in Barclays’ three-year commitment to boost Bury’s local economy. Launched by Barclays UK CEO Ashok Vaswani in September 2018, the bank’s Thriving Local Economies initiative seeks to ensure every part of the country can fulfil its potential and better understand how businesses can play a role in helping local economies to thrive. Bury was chosen as the first pilot area, and Barclays will be working closely with the council, schools and local business groups to develop a number of further projects that will look to support small business growth and prepare Bury with the skills needed in the future.

In Bury, LifeSkills will support 60 school children aged between 13 and 15, many of whom are either looked after by the local authority or have been identified as needing extra support to reach their full potential. Alongside the intensive programme, the schools will also be offered employability training for their Year 10 students.

The practical sessions on the transferable skills needed to succeed in the world of work will be delivered in partnership with The Transformation Trust, with the young people also receiving mentoring from local Barclays staff.

Working with the 11 schools, Barclays hopes to address the skills gap as research1 reveals that just six per cent of teachers in the UK believe their students leave education with the skills needed for employment. 

Kirstie Mackey, Director of LifeSkills created with Barclays, said: “Today’s young people are central to the UK’s economic future. For towns like Bury to flourish in the long term, it’s essential that we equip the next generation with the key skills needed to succeed in the future world of work. That’s why we are partnering with schools across the area to deliver a six-month intensive programme that will help boost the aspirations, mindset and employability skills of some of Bury’s most deserving young people.”

Damion Langford, Guidance Officer at Derby High School, said:This is the right type of programme to enable and empower our young people, providing them with drive, determination and confidence. The LifeSkills sessions will equip our students with the skills and ambition that will set them up for the workplace, with the mentors providing practical advice to help them reach their career goals”.

Councillor Rishi Shori, leader of Bury Council, said: “Bury is a fantastic borough that is full of potential and our young people deserve the best support they can get. Businesses have a big role to play in preparing them with the skills and confidence to successfully move from education into the world of work.

“This ground-breaking initiative by Barclays will help deliver on the recommendations of the Bury Life Chances Commission, which is bringing together the needs of education, skills and business to ensure that Bury will prosper as a great place in which to live, work and study.”

 

Notes to editors

1 “How employable is the UK” report, Barclays LifeSkills, October 2018

 

Barclays has partnered with the Transformation Trust to deliver the sessions, which will run for 6 months from February 2019. These practical skills sessions will cover key transferable skills that will be needed for the future world of work, including enterprise, communication, creativity, problem solving, resilience and adaptability.

Bury is the first pilot area in Barclays’ major five-year programme to invest in local communities across the UK. Through the Building Thriving Local Economies programme, Barclays is working with local authorities, academics, schools and business groups to boost local economic growth.  Each pilot will last for three years. Their launches will be staggered, meaning that the initiative overall is a five-year commitment. More information on the Thriving Local Economies initiative can be found at  https://home.barclays/who-we-are/our-strategy/backing-the-uk/thriving-local-economies/

 

About LifeSkills

The LifeSkills programme brings together educators, businesses, young people and parents to work towards equipping young people with the key skills to move forward into the 21st century work place. So far, more than 6.7 million young people have already participated in the programme.

LifeSkills also provides free support to UK businesses to help improve access to work experience opportunities – giving young people the key skills and experience they need.

For more information on the LifeSkills programme, visit www.barclayslifeskills.com.

 

About Barclays

Barclays is a transatlantic consumer and wholesale bank offering products and services across personal, corporate and investment banking, credit cards and wealth management, with a strong presence in our two home markets of the UK and the US.

With over 325 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 40 countries and employs 82,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.

For further information about Barclays, please visit our website www.home.barclays