Over the next three years it’s estimated more than 3,000 students in the Isle of Man are set to benefit from a new project to help them find employment after Manx charity Junior Achievement devised its unique ‘Get a Job’ programme.
‘Get a Job’ will run in every high school and be delivered by a team of volunteers drawn from local businesses. The project has been funded by the Department of Economic Development, Tower Insurance and First Names Group.
The need for the programme was identified by the Isle of Man Employability Group, a cross-sector committee of representatives from the Departments of Education and Children and Economic Development, and business and voluntary organisations dedicated to ensuring young people in the Isle of Man are prepared for the world of work.
Year 11 students will benefit from a one-day workshop to help them understand what it is that employers look for when recruiting a new member of staff. Business volunteers will work with the students in the classroom to help them understand how to transfer skills learnt in education into the workplace, compile a CV online using employed.im so the CV can be stored and accessed at any time, learn how to search and apply for a job and prepare for an interview.
The launch of ‘Get a Job’ came the same week as a survey by the British Chambers of Commerce of 3,000 firms found nine out of 10 thought school leavers were not ready for employment, and more than half said it was the same for graduates.
The chambers called for universal work experience in all secondary schools.
Three-quarters of the companies surveyed put the situation down to a lack of work experience, and more than 50 per cent said young people did not even have basic skills such as communication, prompting BCC director general John Longworth to comment that many businesses took the view that hiring a young person was a ‘risky’ move.
As a follow-on from the ‘Get a Job’ programme, students will be given the opportunity to sit a mock interview with one of the Island’s leading employers as part of a separate Junior Achievement initiative supported by Bramden Investments.
Junior Achievement chief executive Sue Cook said:
‘Our charity is already supporting 5,000 young people to develop their employability skills, thanks to those in businesses and government who, like us, recognise the importance of equipping students for the workplace. I am delighted, therefore, that with the support of the Department of Economic Development, Tower Insurance and First Names Group we are now in a position to increase their chances of gaining employment by understanding how to get a job.’
At the programme’s launch Economic Development Minister Laurence Skelly MHK said that for young people to gain real life business experience such as that offered by ‘Get a Job’ was ‘was vitally important for the future prosperity of the Isle of Man’.
Chief executive of the Department of Economic Development Chris Corlett said:
‘The Department has committed to financially supporting Junior Achievement’s “Get a Job” programme as it delivers proven results. Junior Achievement operated a pilot programme last year which generated very positive feedback from young people, schools and employers as it gave valuable insights for young people into what employers value, helping them consider their career options and prepare for their working lives.’
Peter Gallagher, managing director of Tower Insurance, has praised the programme ‘as a very important aide in enabling our young people present themselves and their abilities to prospective employers’.
First Names Group (Isle of Man) Limited managing director Gary Hepburn said:
‘We are immensely proud to sponsor and support the Junior Achievement “Get a Job” programme in the Isle of Man. At First Names Group, our culture is about putting people first. We see the importance of providing the Island’s younger generation with key skills that shape professional expertise, encourage individuality and provide invaluable business experience and are very pleased to have the opportunity to be involved with the programme.’
If you would like to find out how to become a volunteer or support the work of Junior Achievement visit www.jaiom.im