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State students in Ipswich to receive employability boost

PUBLISHED: 15:58 28 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:31 28 June 2018

Students across Ipswich will receive extra careers advice to boost their employment opportunities Picture GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

Students across Ipswich will receive extra careers advice to boost their employment opportunities Picture GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

Hongqi Zhang

Thousands of students in Ipswich are to receive extra careers support as the government cracks down on social mobility ‘cold spots’ throughout the UK.

Former education secretary Justine Greening visited Ipswich to give her backing to the partnership last year Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNFormer education secretary Justine Greening visited Ipswich to give her backing to the partnership last year Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The state students will benefit from a government grant awarded to education charity Future First, which aims to improve the employability skills of students in areas where careers advice is lacking.

It comes after Ipswich was identified by the government as one of 12 ‘opportunity areas’, regions which face challenges in improving social mobility and enabling young people to succeed.

Under the initiative, pupils will be offered the chance to boost their employability by engaging with inspiring alumni from Suffolk New College, specialising in a range of sectors.

The alumni will volunteer in assemblies and workshops, offer work experience and intensive world at work days when students will broaden their jobs horizons by meeting former students in a diverse range of fields.

School staff will also be taught how to successfully harness alumni experience and skills to support current students, meeting each school’s individual needs.

It comes at a time when schools are required to improve focus on careers provision and ensure that young people have access to the employer encounters they need to prepare for their futures.

Matt Lent, chief executive of Future First said: “The government has clearly recognised the value that former students provide in acting as relatable role models who can inspire and motivate today’s young people.

“If students see that someone who sat at the same school desk, perhaps had the same teachers and is from the same background has gone on to succeed, they are more likely to believe they can too.”

The Careers and Enterprise Company was set up by the government in 2015 to transform careers support and guidance for young people.

Chief executive Claudia Harris said: “The opportunity areas are all different and challenging, yet the Future First programme has been successful across all of them.

“The research shows that the most important thing about role models is that they are relatable, that core insight is so powerful and effective and that’s one of the reasons we love what Future First does.”

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