What is the EDGE?
The Education Developing Gloucestershire's Employability (EDGE) project is a pioneering scheme that aims to improve the employability skills of young people by working with learners, employers and education providers whilst focusing on the long-term business and economic needs of Gloucestershire. The project concentrates on identifying the current skills gaps and shortages, with the long-term aim of retaining talent and knowledge in the county.
We will be working with Gloucestershire's micro, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to ascertain how to make education in local schools and colleges, as well as careers advice and guidance, more relevant to the workplace.
The vision of the Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (GFirst) is to develop a knowledge-based economy that will require a workforce with the skills to match. The EDGE Project supports the commitment of GFirst to understanding the current employability skills shortages to ensure we resolve these issues and help educate young people for local opportunities in the future.
Work placements and promoting employability are all key elements of the EDGE project. Learners will be given support and guidance in helping them find a placement by the EDGE Partnership Team; which will prepare them for the world of work once they have left education. Work placements are a fantastic way of developing new skills, becoming a team player, increasing confidence and putting theory into practice.
Work placements under EDGE will be at least half a day a week for a minimum of three months. EDGE participants need to be 16 or over.
Some key benefits of work experience are:
- Helping young people to experience a working environment
- Being able to build on their skills, knowledge, self-esteem and confidence
- Making them appreciate the relevance of their studies
- Showing them how skills learned in school/college can be applied in a real work situation
- Opening up future employment opportunities and educational possibilities
- Giving them an opportunity to learn different aspects of their desired career
- Obtaining a positive reference from their employer
- Improving their university application
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