5 Work Awareness Takeaways

We all know that 2021 has been a year of disruption in schools and in the workplace. The wealth of opportunities normally available to young people have been rescheduled, cancelled or changed resulting in young people often feeling unprepared when thinking about their future. At CforLP, we have been working away to provide these opportunities and experiences for young people despite the pandemic. A great example of this are our work awareness programmes which we have delivered over 150 young people across Cumbria in the past few months.

But, what five things did these young people takeaway from their experiences and how will it help them prepare for their future.

1. Upgraded Skills

Have you ever looked at a job application and hesitated at the skills and qualifications section? The classic response is, ‘I haven’t got any of these skills!’ These skills are often innately within us however, they need to be unlocked. Often, these skills are driven by your mindset.

“I really enjoyed this week, it has helped me gain skills I thought were impossible to achieve.” Student from Energy Coast UTC

If you don’t think you can do something, you’ve already stumbled. Just by making a small change to your mindset and saying, ‘I haven’t got any of these skills YET!’ you can open up the doors to own development and unlock your potential!

2. Experience Accomplishing a Real Project

Have you ever thought, ‘I will train to do this and that’s what I’ll do.’? The most successful businesses draw on their employees’ strengths rather than designated job titles.

“I enjoyed being allowed the freedom to work on a project and improving my key employability skills.” Student from Energy Coast UTC

Project work is a great example of how teams can work together to create even greater things by sharing ideas and collaborating to achieve a positive outcome. By working on a project, you can pick up on a variety of different aspects of work in a unique way.

3. Not Just a Role

Have you ever thought, ‘They are just an engineering company; I don’t want to be an engineer.’? It’s easy to look at a potential employer and think that, by their name, you already know they’re not the employer for you.

I also enjoyed the talks from different fields. I particularly enjoyed the marketing session, as it was very interesting and the speaker was very helpful and informative. Student from West Lakes Academy

What you might not know is that, often, these employers draw on a wide range of disciplines in order to be the successful. Every machine needs a variety of components to run efficiently. For example: a school can’t run just with teachers. It’s success relies on all of the teams including: cleaning, kitchen, admin and lots more.

4. Boost That Confidence

Have you ever thought, ‘If I could just be more confident, I would have applied for that…’? Not believing in yourself, your abilities and ideas holds you back.

“I gained lots of confidence.” Student from St Benedict’s Catholic High School

Confidence doesn’t mean you shouting, ‘I’m perfect; let me in!’, but saying, ‘I’m here; let me have a go!’. If you stay in your comfort zone with minimal risk and don’t seize opportunities to have a go, are you ever going to reach your potential?

5. Open up Your Future

Have you ever been asked about your future; the dreaded question, ‘Where do you want to be in 5 years?’ and thought, ‘I don’t have a clue!’?

“Not only was it fun and unique but it is a brilliant way to start thinking more seriously about our future” Student Energy Coast UTC

The future isn’t set in stone but something for you to explore. Without access to these experiences, it’s difficult for anyone to visualise their future.

So, there you have it! 5 takeaways from the young people that took part in our work awareness programmes this year along with our usual ProjX and Elements programmes funded by Sellafield Ltd which were delivered to students from West Lakes Academy, UTC, St Benedicts, Workington and Whitehaven academy. This year, we have developed our ProjX model to showcase other sectors and reach new audiences. ProjX Arts has given young people an insight into careers and project work in the creative industries with a project brief of encouraging the local community to be more involved with the theatre. ProjX Carlisle, which was funded by Story Contracting, reached a new North Cumbrian audience. ‘Your Community’, funded by Hello Future, saw this model reach a youth club audience where the developed a project to benefit their community.

If you are interested in finding out more about these unique and adaptable programmes, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

These projects are supported by a network of volunteer organisations who bring these programmes to life. Thank you to:

Allerdale Borough Council, Armstrong Watson, Baines Wilson, Business Toolbox Cumbria, David Allen, Energus Nuclear Graduates, Jacobs, Lakes College, National College for Nuclear, National Nuclear Laboratory, Responsive Ltd, SolomansEurope, Tetra Tech, Westlakes Engineering, FRAME (West Cumbrian Cultural Education Partnership), Theatre by the Lake, Carnegie Theatre & Arts Centre, University of Cumbria, Words by Rachel, University of Cumbria, Story Contracting, Carlisle Brass, Carlisle City Council, Cumbria Waste Group, Doosan Babcock, KBR, Sellafield Ltd, Hello Future