'Mind the Gap' is an media project which this year involved Allerton Grange High School, Leeds West Academy and Woodkirk High School. Three teams of young people created their own documentaries to explore the statement in a Learning and Skills Network publication that 'only 13% of businesses feel confident that young people leave school with the right skills for the workplace'.
This innovative and successful project was co-ordinated by Becky Cumberworth, one of our Enterprise Ambassadors, who had worked with the three schools on the project. Each group of young people presented their documentaries before an invited audience. The three presentations all explored aspects of the issue really well and demostrated that young people across Leeds have high aspirations and are developing the skills needed for the workplace. Groups then discussed the folowing questions:
- What can we do to make young people more aware of the skills needed by employers?
- How can schools and businesses work together to ensure that young people are able to secure and keep a job by the time they leave school?
- If there isn't a skills gap, what is making employers believe that there is?
It was a really stimulating and interesting morning with three groups of young people who were brilliant ambassadors for their schools wonderfully supported by Becky, Mike Cooper and his team. The challenge and the gap seems to be a more about misunderstanding and ignorance on both sides and requires more communication, more initiatives and more projects like this to bridge the divide and build intelligence and understanding.