First job passports for city’s students

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More than 100 pupils from seven Sheffield schools are set to receive the first ‘Passports to Employment’ under a pioneering scheme developed by the Cutlers’ Company and Sheffield City Council.

The two-year Passport programme brings business and education closer together by preparing teenagers for the world of work, providing them with the skills they need and giving businesses the home-grown talent they need for growth.

“We are delighted that this educational initiative has been such a success,” said Master Cutler Tony Pedder.

“There is now a growing demand from schools and businesses to participate in the scheme.

“Though progress has been made, there is still much to do. There is a need to lift the ethos of the scheme embedded into both businesses and schools.

“Currently those involved are thoroughly engaged but involvement needs to be widened and deepened. Now is the time for that.”

Pupils taking part in the programme learn problem solving, critical thinking, team work and communication skills as well as gaining work experience.

The scheme initially covered engineering, but now also operates in the NHS, glass and computer science sectors.

Students selected for the scheme also become Cutlers’ Ambassadors, encouraging other students to take an interest in the skills required for the workplace.

The scheme is currently run for pupils aged 14 and 15, but, thanks to its success, there is now pressure to cater for older and younger pupils.

In all, 107 Ambassadors will receive their Passports to Employment, signed by an employer, the head teacher and the Master Cutler, at a ceremony in the Cutlers’ Hall on Tuesday, April 8.