A NEW model of schooling aims to close the attainment gap between poorer students and more privileged kids – in exams and careers.
The latest GCSE results show kids on free school meals falling further behind.
Just 60 per cent of that group are in steady employment by the age of 27, compared to 77 per cent of their better-off former classmates.
But a pioneering new sixth form college plans “cradle to career” support to double the number of pupils going on to higher education or work-related courses.
Launched in a deprived area of West London, Feltham College teams up with educators, business and health services to offer academic and vocational learning.
It is hoped the blueprint could later be rolled out across the nation.
Opportunities range from A-levels to professional courses in catering, music, social care and health.
Teaching is supported by Kingston University and the Lady Eleanor Holles and Hampton independent schools in South West London.
As well as its classrooms and labs, Feltham College has a restaurant, music rooms and even production studios so pupils can gain valuable experience.
A community hub helps pregnant mums with health services and early-years education for toddlers.
Ed Vainker, CEO of the Reach Foundation, which runs the new school, said: “Bringing together state and independent schools, a local university and employers to support young people in our community will make a real difference.”
Dr Lee Elliot Major, professor of social mobility at Exeter University and former CEO of educational charity the Sutton Trust, added: “Quality education at a critical stage for young people has the potential to transform lives.
“As someone who grew up in Feltham, it’s heartwarming to know future generations will be given a chance to fulfil their potential.”
WORKING with Feltham College, top chef Jacob Kenedy is giving cookery classes and work experience at his restaurant in the capital Bocca di Lupo.
He says: “I passionately believe in the potential and good of our youth.
The UK’s hospitality industry desperately needs well-trained, bright and spirited individuals.
“Our young people deserve every opportunity to discover a career path they love and can excel at.”
Year 11 student Joshua Gander says: “It was great to cook with Jacob – I learned so much.
“I am so excited to join the new college. I think it will be a great place for me and my friends – and a really good thing for our community.”
Showcase talents on TikTok
LOOKING for a way to stand out to employers?
Give TikTok a try.
The social media platform is being used increasingly by recruiters to hunt down employees.
Elisa Nardi, of careers advice site notebookmentor.com, says: “Showcasing yourself ‘socially’ isn’t new. Employers already peek at your online life.
“But showcasing your talent on video takes things another step forward.”
Here Elisa gives her tips.
- TARGET: Apply for roles that speak to you and make you feel excited. If you are not genuinely interested in a job, that will come over to a prospective employer.
- KEEP THINGS SIMPLE: Whether uploading a CV or sending a video, leave the watcher wanting to ask more. Five minutes maximum.
- DO NOT FABRICATE: If you fib, you will be undone somewhere down the line.
- DISCUSS YOUR VALUES, CHARACTER AND MORALS AS MUCH AS SKILLS: Nowadays employers want people who will get along with their other staff as well as being good at their job.
- PRACTISE: Before uploading any video or other social content, pause and reflect on what it says about you. Then rehearse your key points.
- REMEMBER, EMPLOYERS HAVE CHOICES: Why should they hire you over other applicants? What makes you such a good fit?
BUSINESS services firm GOLDEN EGG GROUP is taking on 600 unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds for Kickstart placements.
Milk ’n’ money
HAVE you got the white stuff?
Amid soaring demand for doorstep deliveries, there are 85 vacancies at Milk & More – for full and part-time milkmen and women across the country.
Deputy CEO Andrew Kendall said: “We’d encourage anyone who is keen to join a forward-looking company that is passionate about reducing plastic waste to get in touch.”
Milkman Darren Barnes of Guildford, Surrey, added: “The job fits into my family life and I like feeling part of the community.”
Apply now at milkandmore.co.uk/careers.
THE NATIONAL HOUSE BUILDING COUNCIL needs 75 starters in inspection and technical operations.
Apply at nhbc.co.uk/careers.
Marking your card
SOCIAL mobility charities have joined forces to create a free app offering 20,000-plus work experience placements.
Youth Card also features careers guidance, talks, podcasts and discounts.
Andrew Law, of Speakers For Schools, one of the charities behind the app, said: “Youth Card means we are able to support more young people as they consider their future careers.”
Find Youth Card in the App Store or on Google Play.