In order to explore the particular skills, qualifications and experience that employers in Brighton & Hove’s key employment sectors require of potential employees, the Brighton & Hove Employer Engagement Group (EEG) began an employability project aimed at bringing secondary school students face to face with local employers. The project was led by Kirsten Trussell, 14-19 Engagement Team Manager (Brighton & Hove City Council) and Georgina Angele: firstname.lastname@example.org, Senior Partnerships Manager (BrightonandHoveJobs.com) on behalf of the EEG.
BEACH, Brighton Employability Advice and Careers Hut for young people in Brighton & Hove, has been designed for young people by young people in Brighton & Hove. It is the result of a series of activities involving year 10 students from Brighton & Hove secondary schools and local employers.
Stage 1: Young People
Brighton & Hove City Council’s 14-19 Engagement Team, the Brighton & Hove Education Business Partnership (EBP) and BrightonandHoveJobs.com brought together 11 students from 3 schools (Blatchington Mill School, Cardinal Newman Catholic School and Varndean School):
- to introduce the concept and importance of employability skills;
- to discuss what employers look for in a potential employee;
- to explore some of the barriers to getting a job; and
- to prepare to meet with local employers from the Brighton & Hove area.
We produced a short film of this session which we used to introduce the project to employers during Stage 2.
Stage 2: Employers
We invited employers representing the current and growth employment sectors in Brighton & Hove to join us at the Grand Hotel (venue kindly offered free of charge). Employers present on the day were:
- Brighton & Hove City Council – Public Sector (Adult Social Care)
- Brighton Pier – Tourism
- Cogapp – Creative Industries
- Denne – Construction
- Lloyds TSB – Business & Financial Services
- Marks & Spencer – Retail
- Shoreham Port – Various sectors (including ‘green technology’)
- Terre à Terre – Hospitality (restaurant)
- The Grand Hotel – Hospitality
- Wired Sussex – Creative Industries
After a networking lunch with the employers, the students used questions they had pre-prepared to interview the employers. They moved around a carousel of tables and used their questions to prompt more in depth discussions around skills, experience, qualifications, youth unemployment, professional development and promotion opportunities for young employees.
Students also conducted more formal employer interviews, with the support of Jo Bowker and Esther Springett of Slight Films, which were subsequently used to produce the film clips that can be found in ‘Meet some employers’.
Stage 3: BEACH design planning
The schools and students involved in this project were keen to develop an ‘employability skills’ resource that would be available to all young people in Brighton & Hove. During a series of design planning meetings with the students the concept of BEACH (Brighton Employability Advice and Careers Hut for young people in Brighton & Hove) was developed.
The following organisations have kindly supported the students to develop BEACH and in particular to shape its contents: