Raising employability and work-related skills in Greater Manchester schools

Date: 19/07/2018
Author: Emma Harris
Company: Governors for Schools

As Manchester strives to be the beating heart of the Northern Powerhouse, there are real challenges in readying a future workforce with the right skills to deliver this ambition. The skills gap between what Greater Manchester students are leaving school with and what the growth of our city demands are noted in the Greater Manchester Work and Skills Strategy 2016 to 2019. “The ability to grow, attract and retain skilled labour, build resilience and adaptability in the current and future workforce is a prerequisite for future economic growth.” So how can business help? Preparing students for the world of work is vital.

Schools have a responsibility to offer careers and employability training to students, but it can be difficult to know what to cover, at what phase, and how to go about it. Links with businesses can significantly improve the opportunities available to students, as well as help businesses to shape the workforce of tomorrow. One way to engage directly with schools is through school governance, helping set the strategic di-rection of the school and improve educational standards. Business leaders provide essential skills to governing boards, including finance, law, HR and ICT.

They are directly involved in providing links and opportunities for students to understand and gain the skills needed to reach their potential in the world of work. To provide all school governors with a better understanding of this priority, Governors for Schools, a national educational charity, which recruits and matches school governors based on skills, has launched a new free e-learning module for governors, which covers employability and work-related learning. Developed in partnership with the City of London Corporation, its aim is to ensure that governing boards are well placed to support schools in delivering on this crucial aspect of Greater Manchester’s Work and Skills Strategy. What can you expect from the module?

The module looks at why work-related learning and employability matters, what it looks like in differ-ent phases of education, and what makes for effective practice. It provides an overview of the Gats-by benchmarks, and suggests questions that governors can ask in order to monitor the provision their school or trust is making. It also look at steps that governing boards can take to raise the pro-file of the work-related learning and employability on school boards.

With nearly 170 school governor vacancies registered with Governors for Schools in Greater Manchester, there is plenty of opportunity for businesses to encourage their staff to volunteer and make a real difference to the future of Greater Manchester and its schools.

Find out more at www.governorsforschools.org.uk