New careers programme helping connect young people and businesses

The Worcestershire Careers Hub has launched a new support programme to help young people understand business industries and the routeways into those industries.

 The programme, called, “Passport 2” aims to support schools with providing students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), with meaningful and creative resources that will support the teaching of sector based hard and soft skills.

‘Passport 2’ takes students through the industry to help them understand the roles available, routeways into the industry and the local employers in those industries they could work for.

For young people, this is another tool to help them experience the world of work, understand the routeways available to them locally, and help inspire their future careers.

The ‘Passport 2’ series was trialled with local schools and businesses to understand the benefits it could provide to both parties. The feedback was positive and following this feedback, the Careers Hub team have now fully launched two ‘Passport 2’ series to help schools and businesses in the county.

The programme has launched with two industry focuses, ‘Passport 2 Retail’ and ‘Passport 2 Hospitality’. These sectors have been targeted to help overcome the challenges these sectors have faced in the aftermath of the COVID pandemic.

After these programmes were trialled, the Worcestershire Careers Hub shared the findings with the Careers and Enterprise Company who were able to strengthen the programme by connecting the Careers Hub with NOCN to create accredited qualifications for the scheme.

NOCN Group is an educational charity whose core aims are to help learners reach their potential and organisations thrive.

With the involvement of NOCN, this also means that the ‘Passport 2’ programme can be delivered to learners, providing them with better careers guidance and education but most importantly, allowing students to achieve an entry level qualification.

Through collaboration with NOCN, ‘Passport 2 Retail’ and ‘Passport 2 Hospitality’ have been carefully linked to the accredited NOCN Entry Level Certificate in Preparing for Further Learning or Employment (Entry 3) qualifications, which provide students with sector-based skills and knowledge that will support them in further learning or employment.

For businesses in retail or hospitality, the ‘Passport 2’ programme is helping them to engage with the future talent pipeline and plant the seed of interest with students who will hopefully become their future workforce in years to come.

Joel Whitehouse previous Recruitment lead at Farncombe Estate, added, “I have been involved with the Passport to Hospitality after being approached by Hannah. The hospitality industry has so much to offer and frustratingly, people with additional needs are often overlooked and I wanted to change this perception. The Passport to Hospitality is essential to make students aware of the opportunities in the industry, but also to give them the employability skills and confidence to pursue opportunities once they have finished their studies.”

The Careers Hub initiative is a national programme from the Careers and Enterprise Company, delivered locally via a partnership between Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership and Worcestershire County Council.

Gary Woodman, Chief Executive of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Supporting young people in the county to understand the career options available to them is something we are making incredible progress with here in Worcestershire. The Careers Hub team work tirelessly with schools and employers to bridge that gap so that young people across the county can have meaningful encounters with employers that can inspire their future career.

“The launch of the Passport 2 programme is another example of the fantastic work the team are doing, supporting all young people, regardless of their ability or condition, to ensure that every young person in Worcestershire has the opportunity to live, work and invest in the county.”

Following the full launch of the ‘Passport 2’ programme, another two sectors have been identified for the programme, with those expected to be announced later this academic year.

To find out more about Passport 2 programmes, visit the Skills4Worcestershire website on the links below.

Passport to Retail | Worcestershire County Council

Passport to Hospitality | Worcestershire County Council