“The BCC Business and Education Summit was pretty well received yesterday. On points of employability education, the Barclays LifeSkills programme is a breath of fresh air, as is Kirstie Mackey, the Barclays Director responsible for the programme.”

LifeSkills Development

“It’s quite a bold step to make the LifeSkills material open source, so given that lots of hard work has been completed on this, more organisations should be using it.  It was interesting to note that Ofsted can report on the significant number of student hours lost through classroom disruption.  It is however disappointing that Sir Michael Wilshaw, MH Chief Inspector for Ofsted, seemed to be rather out of touch when I asked how to deal with the issue.

“The most engaging speakers of the day were Sir Anthony Selsdon, the refreshingly grounded Vice Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, and Fraser Doherty, the 26-year old founder of Super Jam.  Fraser should upload his story to YouTube and every child should be made to watch it.  Taking a family jam recipe at the age of 16 and conquering the world doesn’t come without valuable lessons.  Whilst I’ll concede that I’m a little jealous of his success (who wouldn’t be?), he is quite an inspiration and a delightful young man.

What’s changing?

“It feels like there’s a consensus on the subjects of education shortfalls in secondary schools and student prospects improving when employer links are stronger.  Gaining relevant work experience fundamentally improves student career prospects.  In fact, over 90% of employers value relevant work experience when interviewing candidates, so it is disappointing to learn that less than 40% of employers offer work placements to students.  It has already been demonstrated that work placements can lead to apprenticeships with the same employer, so what are employers waiting for?  Pick the phone and talk to your local College or Secondary School.

“We look forward to seeing how this summit can stimulate all of the moving parts to bridge the gap between education and employment.  #bridgethegap”


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