Lifelong leadership learning in Cumbria

Bespoke Young People Programmes


We are passionate about nurturing and developing the talents and aspirations of young people throughout their learning journey. We work with young people, educators and employers across Cumbria. 

Our bespoke programmes enable employers to connect with schools and young people to help shape the future skills needed in order for their organisations to thrive and succeed and help young people make informed choices about their future.  

These programmes support schools to achieve their Gatsby Benchmarks. The Tony Warner’s 7 Skills for the 21st Century are also used as an underpinning framework for these programmes. The 7 Skills the future demands are as follows:

  • Collaboration and Leading by Influence
  • Agility and Adaptability
  • Curiosity and Imagination
  • Good Oral and Written Communication
  • Accessing and Analysing Information
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Initiative and Entrepreneurship

Below are just some examples of what we offer. Please do get in touch to discuss any ideas or collaboration opportunities.

Bespoke Work awareness

Our bespoke work awareness programmes support students to gain a greater understanding of a range of local businesses, employers and organisations across Cumbria and benefit from meaningful engagements with them.

These programmes allow students to further develop a large range of transferable skills in problem solving, collaboration, creativity, innovation as well as leadership, teamwork, communication, and planning. Embedding skills development and opportunities for pupils to develop key leadership skills needed for the future.

We can facilitate meaningful dialogue and leadership conversations between employers and young people during these programmes. Supporting organisations to connect to their future talent to ignite aspirations and retain talent. This is turn allows employers to gain a different perspective and ideas from the leaders of the future.

We are able to offer a range of proven and successful bespoke work awareness programmes working with a wide variety of businesses and organisations and engaging with schools across Cumbria.

Aimed at students in Year 10 and/or Year 11 these work awareness programmes are based around a multi-disciplinary approach bringing together a number of businesses and organisations, both large and small to support sessions in their area of expertise based around a bespoke theme or identified need.

Outcomes include:

Examples of current work awareness programmes


ProjX was co-created with business to support SME’s and micro-business who may traditionally feel unable to offer work experience. ProjX began as face to face work awareness programme in 2019 with students working on a brief from Lakes Escapes designing a mobile escape room. Converted to an online delivery programme in July 2020 (in response to the Covid-19 pandemic) with a converted brief to look at Town Regeneration. The ProjX programme model can be adapted to look at different themes with a range of different business and organisation volunteers.


The Elements programme is Sellafield Ltd work experience programme and offers a week-long fun and interactive programme centred on a mock nuclear scenario or facility. Students will gain awareness and experience of the skills and behaviours needed to succeed in the work place.

The programme is project managed by the Centre for Leadership Performance and has been designed in partnership between Sellafield and a group of companies from the nuclear supply chain.

This will be adapted to an online delivery with an Engineering focus, working with our partners at Sellafield and it’s supply chain

Other work awareness programmes

Business in your hand-  Youth led enterprise programme delivered at the Phoenix youth centre in Whitehaven. The aim of the programme is to increase aspirations, confidence and relevant skills development in young people and inspire enterprising approaches and attitudes. Find out more about this programme here.

Bespoke Development Interventions

From working with our partners, we have created several development sessions that can be adapted to any target audience.  All sessions are inclusive, interactive and reflective – led from the front including opportunities for young people to work collaboratively to support and challenge one another. Below are a few examples of these sessions:


Read below to find out what the students and businesses took away from taking part in our work awareness programmes.

I have really have really enjoyed being able to share my career experience even though it is very short, as this position is my first full time job. I really hope I’ve been able to inspire students like others have done for me through my learning experiences, and I give…read more
Rachel Bass- Lakes College/NcfN
The ProjX programme is a fantastic project for students to help develop some fantastic business ideas as well as understanding all the different considerations to see the idea come to life. It is also brilliant for local businesses to be able to give something back to students by providing specific…read more
Michael Fearon – David Allan Accountants
I love being involved with the ProjX programme as I feel when I was at school, there weren’t as many options and we didn’t get as much information on different career paths and jobs we could go into. I like the fact that I’m helping to give student’s ideas on…read more
Danielle Lithgow – Jacobs
First off, it was amazing that experience was even available in terms of the lockdown, it was also a great opportunity to meet new people outside of your own school and work with new people who you may not necessarily choose to work with previously as you may not know…read more
Eloise- Student
I really enjoyed this week, it has helped me gain skills i thought was impossible to achieve.
Student – March 21
Didn’t think I was a team leader or team player so didn’t think would have confidence to do any of that but this has shown me that I can do teamwork and do it more effectively. Just like to thank the business partners who took the time out to talk…read more
Abbie- Student
Being allowed the freedom to work on a project and improving my key employability skills.
Student – March 21
I have developed my key skills much more than I expected such as my leadership. I was able to manage my group well which I certainly didn’t expect.
Student – March 21
It was very eye-opening into the world of work and the opportunities that are available for me in the future.
Student – March 21
A positive point about the experience was the helpful leaders: Nicola, Michelle and James that made the experience so positive and fun because they were so helpful. I also enjoyed the talks from different fields. I particularly enjoyed the marketing session, as it was very interesting and the speaker was…read more
ProjX 2021 West Lakes Academy Student 3
I would definitely recommend the ProjX work experience to other students, as it was a very fun and informative experience, as well as it being so different to anything else I’ve ever done before….read more
ProjX 2021 West Lakes Academy Student 4
It was really helpful and informative and confirmed the career I want to go into as engineering.
ProjX 2021 West Lakes Academy Student 1

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Lifelong Leadership Learning in Cumbria