Doncaster Promise scheme for giving young people job skills backed by 100 companies

More than 100 Doncaster businesses have pledged to work with schools and young people to get them better prepared for work in a post-pandemic world.
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Business organisation Doncaster Chamber has relaunched its Doncaster Promise scheme to strengthen links between firms and education providers to give opportunities to young people to acquire crucial job skills.

The chamber said local businesses have quickly shown their belief that young people are part of the solution for economic recovery.

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More than 200 Kickstart Scheme placements through Doncaster Chamber have been accepted.

The Doncaster Promise launch statement is a pledge to give young people the chance to learn key job skillsThe Doncaster Promise launch statement is a pledge to give young people the chance to learn key job skills
The Doncaster Promise launch statement is a pledge to give young people the chance to learn key job skills

Chamber CEO Dan Fell said closing the skills gap is critical to the region’s recovery from the pandemic.

“Bridging the gap between business and education is more important than ever and the Doncaster Promise is absolutely essential to the delivery of Doncaster’s 2030 education and skills strategy.”

“Only 11% of Doncaster’s jobs are termed as being highly skilled and only 43% of the working age population has a Level 3 qualification compared to a national average of 58%,” said Dan.

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"Addressing these systemic challenges is imperative to closing our productivity gap and delivering inclusive economic growth for our communities.

“The Promise is not prescriptive, nor is it a one size fits all approach. Businesses of varying sizes from different sectors have proven that they can offer valuable experiences for students.

"All we ask is for them to do what they can.”

Attendees at the relaunch event heard first-hand experiences from those who have already signed and are actively involved in careers education in the borough.

Representatives from Unipart Rail credited the Promise as having given structure to their ongoing careers-related activity in schools.

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As schools remain closed for all except the children of key workers, and teachers deliver more and more remote sessions, Unipart recognised the unique role businesses can play in helping them to keep delivering excellent careers education.

Unipart HR partner Mandy Kendrick said: “Unipart Rail are proud and excited to sign up to the Doncaster Promise again in 2021.

"These partnerships with the local community allow us to be involved with truly meaningful interactions with students of all ages and it has also given us a platform - through the Enterprise Adviser Network - to be able to influence the careers strategy of a local school.

"We very much look forward to taking part in many more events such as careers fairs, skills talks and employability days in the coming 12 months.”

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But it isn’t just large businesses who have been getting stuck in, says the Chamber.

Work Creative, a Doncaster-based branding, print and digital design agency with fewer than 10 employees, have hosted careers talks, CV workshops and interactive skills days.

In a typical session, students are given creative design briefs for fictitious companies. At the end of the session put their work forward and explain their design choices.

As well as offering students an insight into a day in the creative industry, the process helps them to develop their communication and creativity skills.

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Director Warren Hands said: “These are incredibly smart young people who are curious about what options are out there for them and there’s nobody better placed to tell them about it than the people who work in these professions for a living.”

“In the long run, these students will leave education knowing exactly what employers are asking from them and how they can get on a path into their industry.”

More than 100 businesses have so far signed up to the Doncaster Promise and committed to giving thousands of young people the opportunity to meet role models from every industry, profession and sector.

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In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor