From education to employment

Raising career aspirations in Yorkshire primary schools by bringing the world of work into the classroom

Specialist recruitment firm invests in personal development programmes to help raise aspirations in primary schools

Primary school children in Yorkshire will receive award winning ‘Positive Footprints’ personal development programmes, thanks to funding from manufacturing and engineering recruitment specialist, The Works Recruitment.

The Works Recruitment is heavily involved with other careers programs, such as Leeds Manufacturing Festival and Bradford Manufacturing Weeks, which focus on introducing 14 to 18 year olds to the sector. Managing director, Craig Burton, said that the work done during those initiatives inspired the firm’s partnership with Positive Footprints, which will focus on children aged nine to 11.

Local primary schools will deliver the raising aspirations programme to children in years 5 and 6, with more than 2,000 local children are set to engage in over 240 hours of careers-led learning this year alone.

“Around 13,000 children across the country are already engaging with this ground breaking programme and after seeing what an engaging, impactful and creative initiative it is, I wanted children in West Yorkshire to have the same opportunity to experience it as others across the UK,” said Craig.

He added: “Children and young people represent our future and the perceptions they have about careers are often formed from an early age. From just seven years old, over a third of children base their aspirations on people they know so if we can encourage them to recognise their talents and meet inspiring people, we will open their eyes and increase their aspirations, confidence and life choices.”

Beckfoot Heaton Primary School is one of the first schools in Bradford to benefit from The Works Recruitment-enabled Positive Footprints programme. Head teacher, Zoe Mawson, said the new learning materials will support their drive to show pupils they can have the future they want.

“One of the biggest challenges we see is that children may not have high aspirations and don’t always see how they can shape their own futures,” she explains.

“The Positive Footprints programme is a way of bringing the world of work into the classroom in a really interesting way and to show the children through teamwork, carousel activities and by meeting local employers, just what opportunities there are and how they can be masters of their own destiny.”

Co-op Academy Oakwood is one of the first to benefit from the program in Leeds and recently held a launch event so that their pupils could meet local businesses and find out more about their career journey and aspirations from a young age.

Ms. Aasim, head teacher at Co-op Academy Oakwood, said:

“This partnership is a great opportunity to support our vision for the school as we want our children to create a picture for the future that’s filled with ambition and hope. They are naturally curious about the world of work and it’s been amazing to see their eyes light up at the prospect of creating their first CV and learning about careers they’ve never even heard of before.”

Positive Footprints fully resourced programmes are delivered in schools by teachers and integrated through curriculum-based activities which provide a tangible and inspirational way to learn about the world of work.

Managing director of Positive Footprints, Lesley Burrows, added:

“Through almost 30 years of working in the heart of industry, Craig and the team at The Works Recruitment have that very real insight and understanding of what the world of work needs from future generations and their commitment to supporting the development of children and young people through our partnership is both visionary and inspiring in itself.”

The Works Recruitment has been delivering recruitment and employment services to over 2,000 diverse businesses across Yorkshire for over 27 years. Managing director Craig Burton founded the business in 1991 and now operates from offices on Canal Wharf in Leeds city centre.

Craig is one of four “People Ambassadors” selected by Leeds City Council as part of its Inclusive Growth Ambassador programme and will focus on creating better jobs, tackling low pay and boosting productivity in the city.

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