Over three days in December and January at St. Paul’s School, 22 students aged 14-15 with special education needs completed the three workshops that comprise the i-Work course: Engage Me, Employ Me and Enterprise Me. The course was intended to raise their employability skills and confidence in preparation for work experience placements 12-23 January.
Many students were surprised how their employability confidence grew. “I feel a lot more confident about my work experience now,” said student Callum.
The apparent gains in employability confidence, based on questionnaires completed by students before and after the course, were remarkable:
27% average increase in “I understand what employability skills are”
26% average increase in “I feel well equipped to do well in my work future”
25% average increase in “I feel confident talking in interviews”.
Each day of the course included a WorkOut session, in which students interacted with 6-8 different guests from the world of work, interviewing each one for 6-8 minutes in rotation.
In post-course questionnaires, all three school staff involved in supporting the students strongly agreed that the students had been motivated by the course.
“All students were positive, engaged and gained in confidence as the sessions progressed,” said Sandrine Gaffney.
“The students seemed to overcome their personal challenges more as they engaged with the tasks,” said Victoria Curtis.
“The activities empowered the students with more confidence,” said Toby Holly.