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Stratford-upon-Avon College, in collaboration with Henley-in-Arden School, Proactive Education, QHotels and Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, has been successful in its bid to secure funding for a new youth engagement project soon to be delivered in Warwickshire. 22 businesses and education providers submitted proposals for the Warwickshire County Council Skills for Employment Major Grant. The College’s proposal focused on raising awareness of Hospitality and Travel & Tourism as a viable career pathway, to address a skills shortage in both sectors and to support an industry that is crucial to Stratford’s local economy. This bid brought together parties with which the College has a proven track record, cementing the its commitment to the surrounding community and helping to make a major positive difference to the employability of young people in the county. Engaging with students from Year 7 upwards, the project will offer them access to all aspects of the hospitality and tourism sectors - everything from the usual customer relations and catering, to areas such as event management and business administration; teaching them transferable life skills - communication, computer skills, team work – skills that are required in various degrees in every job; and help them make informed choices. The College is delighted to be working with four local organisations – Henley-in-Arden School, Proactive Education, QHotels and Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. By benefiting from the combined expertise of a school, a further education college, an employer engagement specialist and local employers, the College will be in a position to improve the transition of young people from education into employment. One example of this enhanced partnership between education provider and employer is that all students on the programme will work closely with mentors from QHotels and Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, giving students a real insight into the world of work and prepare them for an interview at the end of Year 11 for apprenticeship opportunities. Commenting on the working relationship between the five partners, Stevie Edmund-Jones, the College’s Head of Employer Engagement, said: “We are delighted that Warwickshire County Council has approved our bid. We all believe that with the knowledge and expertise all parties possess, we have the making of an excellent model that can be replicated in other areas.” Although the project is designed to run from the beginning of next year until the end of July, the College aims to get to the point where the programme is sustainable; when the funding period ends, they hope to have established a network of training mentors capable of supporting new businesses and addressing the skills shortages in the county. Once proven results are seen, they believe their project will become a model for the formation of new partnerships between business and education across other high priority sectors. For more information please contact Nicholas - nicholas@proactiveeducation.co.uk

By: Nicholas

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