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Get Work Ready (ELSA)

Last week representatives from Socitm Advisory participated in ELSA’s Get Work Ready programme at Birmingham City Academy.

ELSA (Education Learning, Skills & Achievement) is a community interest company, working with young people both in mainstream and specialist education, delivering workshops which encourage debate, discussion, honesty and aspirational pathways, all aimed to increase self-esteem and self-worth. Get Work Ready is a one-day programme which allows students to take part in interview and job application challenges that employers use within their current recruitment processes.

During the day year 10 pupils (14-15 year olds) participated in a number of activities including ‘The Assistive Technology Challenge’ coordinated by Socitm Advisory. The challenge required the students to design an app that a local authority Adult Social Care service could use to deliver homecare​. The session kicked off with a brief introduction from the Socitm Advisory team about what life as a consultant is like and what Adult Social Care services do and the challenges they face. Then the students got to work on the brief! The responses from the students were incredible and featured very well thought out and executed proposals.

Jodie Yates, Socitm Advisory Consultant said “Working with the Year 10s was such a rewarding experience. They all had amazing ideas on how to use technology to transform Adult Social Care - in particular, there was a lot of discussion around mental health, which is both a testament to the times and also to the courage and bravery of these young people as they open up about these important issues. I am proud of our team as well as the others volunteering that day for getting involved with teaching the Year 10s about their career opportunities."

The initiative was very rewarding for all involved, and the representatives from Socitm Advisory (Jodie, Ibtisam, Helen, Jack, and Tanya) felt privileged to take part and all agreed that regular schools outreach days should become part of our CSR work.

Ibtisam Ali Socitm Advisory Consultant said “I think it is fair to say that the current statistics of women in important IT and technology roles aren’t optimistic. There was always an unequal gender gap between men and women in technology and the IT world. This gap is even wider when compared to women of BAME background. This is the reason why the ‘Getting Work Ready’ workshop was such a rewarding and amazing initiative to be part of. More so, growing up as black Muslim female with refugee parents I already understood the barriers and obstacles I would have to overcome to find my place in society. This was combined with lack of exposure to different career opportunities and growth development. Therefore, to be part of an initiative that aims to decrease inequalities, by exposing pupils from a vast diverse background to explore career paths that might have not been a consideration at such a crucial time in their lives, is an amazing and commendable feat. My team and I had the privilege to educate groups of year 10s on assistive technology and how this may aid with Adult social care. They all undertook the challenge with such imagination and energy.

Zoe, the ELSA event organiser gave the following feedback “For students to be able to safely interact, engage and network with so many different 'real' people in one day is immensely empowering for them. We are certain that they will remember the day for a long time to come, and that we have shaped new ideas and career pathways for them.”

The students thoroughly enjoyed the day one commented “I wish school was this fun everyday."

Thank you to everyone involved!

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