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Case Study - Barclays Lifeskills

LifeSkills, created with Barclays and endorsed by City & Guilds, is helping to bridge the gap between school and work for young people.

The Challenge

Young people are the workforce of the future, bringing new skills and a fresh perspective to organisations across the globe. However, the transition between school and work isn’t always easy, which is why the LifeSkills, created with Barclays has been developed.

LifeSkills launched in May 2013 and is designed to give young people in the UK access to the skills, information and opportunities they need to make the transition into work. It aims to improve employment prospects and provide access to online content, school workshops, events, work placements and apprenticeships. To date over 1 million young people have participated in LifeSkills.

The programme focuses on three critical areas – people skills, work skills and money skills – helping to give students the confidence they need to take their first steps in the working world.

LifeSkills wanted to increase the appeal of the programme by giving the young people who went through their programmes something that would be recognised and respected by the business community.

Our Approach

To achieve this, City & Guilds Employer Services, the employer facing team at City & Guilds, worked with the LifeSkills team to award all of the workshops and lesson plans with a City & Guilds endorsement. The endorsement highlights to students, parents and teachers that the programme had been reviewed and approved by an independent body,

Chris Jones, Chief Executive at City & Guilds, said: “At City & Guilds, we’re all about jobs and there has been so much evidence showing young people aren’t ready for the world of work. It’s vital we act now to change this so we can equip both young people and businesses with the skills they need for future success. That’s why we’ve partnered with Barclays to endorse the LifeSkills programme. We truly believe that LifeSkills can make a huge difference to young people as they progress in their careers.”

The Results

More than 11,125 schools, colleges and education institutions have signed up to LifeSkills so far and 15,944 teachers have registered for the programme.

In 2014 The Work Foundation independently evaluated the impact of LifeSkills and found that the programme had a transformative influence on increasing confidence of the young people participating, with over 80% saying they felt more confident that they could succeed and 83% now able to identify future jobs that match their skills.

Will Hutton, Chair of the Big Innovation Centre at The Work Foundation, said: “There is ample quantitative and qualitative evidence that LifeSkills is delivering what it intends to accomplish and that it is doing so to a high level. There are positive changes to the behaviour of young people and increases to their confidence, awareness, clarity, knowledge and abilities are well-documented. LifeSkills could – and ideally would – be an ongoing part of the curriculum, supporting UK students in their school to work transitions. Students and teachers both hope that this is a programme that is here to stay.”

Speaking about the City & Guilds endorsement of LifeSkills, Kirstie Mackey, Head of LifeSkills, said: “We are proud to be the first education programme endorsed by City & Guilds. It provides an independent endorsement of the quality of the materials we have developed and their role in helping young people develop the skills they need for the workplace. We’re incredibly pleased that LifeSkills has achieved this recognition in its first year and hope it is just the start of growing and improving the programme in 2014 and beyond. Our ambition is to give one million young people access to the key life skills they need to participate in society economically by 2015.”