GUEST COLUMNIST: Chesterfield College principal Stuart Cutforth explains how to get students ready for the ‘real world’

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We have recently received the good news that unemployment was at its lowest for ten years and that there had been a significant drop in unemployment amongst 16-24 year-olds. 
Although the increased school leaving age will explain the change in the latter figure, it is still a positive picture. Understanding what is behind the headlines and making sure we play a role in making people in the area as employable as possible is part of our job at Chesterfield College. 
We work with local economic partnerships and employers to design what we offer and give students work experience out in the ‘real world’. 
Coming across industry specific experience can be tricky for young people. With every course we offer within college we strive to give students qualifications, technical and professional skills with some element of work experience. But what if someone hasn’t had those opportunities and they find themselves qualified without experience? 
Traineeships are one solution to consider. They offer a way in to a particular industry and a chance to develop those job ready skills under the wing of an employer. They last from eight weeks to six months and are designed to prepare 16-24 year olds for the world of work leading on to an apprenticeship, further study or employment. Companies like Jaguar Land Rover, Boots and the BBC use traineeships but they are just as relevant to smaller companies looking to grow. It’s time to think differently about how young people can get ‘job ready’. My top tip would be to give traineeships a closer look.


For more visit www.gov.uk/government/collections/traineeships-programme.

Stuart Cutforth Chesterfield college. Photo for business column

Stuart Cutforth Chesterfield college. Photo for business column