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.

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

Review of Feedback from Work Placements

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

Get involved today and get the EDGE

Give your Business the EDGE

Get involved with a pioneering new initiative that will give your business the EDGE in Gloucestershire.

Be part of the innovative EDGE project that will support local SMEs identify skills gaps and training shortages within the region.

Supporting the EDGE project will:

  • Improve the employability skills of a future generation of workers
  • Assist in making education in schools and colleges, plus careers, advice and guidance, more relevant to the real world of work
  • Provide work experience opportunities so future employees are work ready
  • Leave a lasting legacy within Gloucestershire

 EDGE Implementation Plans

EDGE PROJECT Equality and Diversity Implementation Plan August 2018
EDGE PROJECT Sustainable Development Implementation Plan August 2018

 Let Us Know Your Feedback

Engaging 450 of Gloucestershire's micro, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)
Providing 575 work placements and internships
Case study - South Gloucestershire & Stroud College

Berkeley Castle

Students at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College have been benefiting from a new European Social Funded (ESF) scheme designed to improve employability skills among young people in the region. EDGE (Education Developing Gloucestershire’s Employability) is a pioneering project that sees learners work with employers and education providers to gain experience and skills with a long term focus on the business needs of the County.

The scheme’s first intake of work experience students came from SGS College’s Preparation for Work and Life department as part of three, month-long placements, with the students making a positive difference right from the off.

Steve Hall, Work Placement Manager at SGS College said of the group: “I’m so pleased with the performance and attitude of our learners. They have made a great impression and paved the way for more attending in the future.”

“It’s great to have so many extra pairs of hands helping our Head Gardener.” says Jackie Pennington, Operations Manager at Berkeley Castle. Adding, “They are making a big difference around the gardens and the whole process has been very smooth and uncomplicated.”

The students themselves are equally as enthusiastic, with one group member, Samuel Hale saying: “It’s a lot of fun here and I enjoy working with everyone.”

Case study - South Gloucestershire & Stroud College

Kick Off Stroud

Kick-Off Stroud

Louise Fisher has been with Kick-Off Stroud since September and has gone from strength to strength.

During her time there she has learnt valuable skills that will equip her in the sport industry.

Her supervisor, Mr Tovey comments “Louise’s patience when dealing with children is always great and her listening and communication skills are excellent”

Louise has grown in confidence and now has the ability to carry out duties from start to completion quickly and effectively, and is now a popular member of staff with the children.

By doing an EDGE European Social Funded (ESF) placement at Kick Off Stroud they are now hoping to offer Louise a paid position of employment.

Case study - Hartpury College

Tweenhills Farm & Stud

Hartpury College have engaged with over 50 employers through the EDGE European Social Funded (ESF) Project with approximately 40 of them being new employers to Hartpury.

This includes Tweenhills Farm and Stud, who agreed to take learners from their Further Eduction programme; Tweenhills Farm and Stud currently employ 2 of Hartpury College’s students on a part-time basis and have previously had students on work experience.

However, following on from completing the EDGE questionnaire over the summer, the College have developed a much closer partnership, resulting in work experience placements for 3 students so far and the opportunity for more.

Tweenhills Farm and Stud is a very exacting employer and the requirements from a work experience student are very particular, they require a letter of application for work experience plus an interview with the student before agreeing to engage them in work experience and previously we had struggled to develop a strong partnership with them. The EDGE Project has certainly helped facilitate this.

Case study - Cirencester College

Corinium Museum

Cirencester College had 7 students on placement at the Corinium Museum, all absolutely loving the experience!

The Museum is a real focus of our town and the passion they have for supporting students and engaging young people with local history and culture is fantastic!

Some had the opportunity to do placements linking to creative artistry, drawing artefacts from the museum, which were used in marketing and advertising materials. They are also made items such as screen printed cushions that have been used in the children’s area of the museum.

Others got involved in the educational side and assisted and delivered teaching sessions to primary school classes who visited the museum; you can find specific details of each of the placements in the link below:

Visit Corinium Museum Blog

Emma Stuart is the Learning Development Officer at the museum and is our main contact in setting up the vacancies and supporting the students on their placements.

Each student applied for their position and then attended an interview before starting. All of these aspects have helped with developing employability skills and helping to prepare them for the world of work.

We would like to thank the Corinium Museum for the opportunities given and their ongoing support of the European Social Funded (ESF) EDGE Project.

Get involved today




Curriculum Resources

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Download Colleges Resources (Zip file)

The EDGE Project conducted two consultations: one with SMEs via face to face individual meetings and one with education providers, secondary schools and further education establishments in Gloucestershire. The feedback from both were analysed to identify:

  • What recruitment difficulties, including involving the engagement of young people, local SMEs were experiencing
  • What knowledge, skills and attitudes were lacking in young applicants whilst reflecting the benefits of employing young people
  • What support, including work placements local SMES would offer to young people in education to help develop employability skills
  • What employability skills were taught locally in both schools and colleges, identifying if these were embedded or outside the main curriculum and the average hours spent on these topics currently
  • How education providers self-assessed the employability provision they currently deliver.

From this analysis 13 Key Employability Outcomes were identified, namely:

  • Preparing for employability/personal characteristics
  • Preparing for employability/English for communicating
  • Preparing for employability/interviews
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-improvement
  • Self-determination
  • Self-motivation
  • Confidence and self-esteem
  • Showing initiative and enterprise
  • Developing personal and financial capability
  • Identifying choices and opportunities/sampling career options
  • Critical thinking
  • Digital and on-line safety in the workplace

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Download School Resources (Zip file)

The EDGE Partnership, together with input from local schools via the EDGE Gloucestershire Secondary Heads representative created bespoke curriculum to develop these Key Employability Outcomes at both key stage 4 and 5. As well as an introductory video, giving teachers/lecturers an overview of the EDGE Curriculum for each Key Employability Unit the following resources have been produced:

  • Teacher's Summary guide including video guide (for all units)
  • Lesson plan
  • Scheme of work (for all units)
  • PowerPoint Presentation (the main teaching content for each unit)

Together with the following resources for the student

  • Student Passport (covers all units)
  • Student Assessment booklet(including stretch/Extensions)
  • Extra Resources and Takeaway tasks (integrated in lesson plans)

Additional Resources

Careers Resources

Employers into Schools & Colleges

Managing Industry Visits

Support from Employers

English and Maths Skills in Careers

Employers into Schools & Colleges

The benefits of inviting employers and training providers into schools and colleges to support Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) are extensive. Well planned and successful activities can inspire students and raise their aspirations, as well as inform them about the local labour market.

This resource provides 12 different employer-led activities that can be arranged at your school or college. A toolkit is included for each activity, which contains information and guidance about how to arrange the event, the resources and materials needed, what you need to consider, a planning timeline, the year group(s) it is aimed at and links to the Gatsby Benchmarks.

Resources supporting all toolkits.

Managing Industry Visits

Employer engagement can help young people to learn about what working life and careers are really like, receive advice and information from professionals, can help them to focus more on their academic work and help make student destinations more diverse and successful, including reducing the risk of students becoming NEET.

This resource provides general guidance and toolkits for eleven different employer-led activities, which can be arranged with employers in their workplace. It is designed to be used by all members of staff working in schools who need to engage with employers, especially new staff or those who are new to this type of activity. It is intended to provide a step-by-step “how to guide” to organising activities, with each toolkit being a stand-alone resource.

Support from Employers

Through working with local small and medium enterprises in Gloucestershire, the EDGE Project has identified employers willing to support the development of employability skills by engaging with Gloucestershire Schools and Colleges.

A map showing the location of these employers can be accessed here: Open Map

A database identifying the targeted support offered can be accessed by following this link: Download Database

English and Maths Skills in Careers

Linking Maths and English skills to careers, through 'real life' examples of skills used within Gloucestershire-based organisations. Please read the English and Maths Skills in Careers document before proceeding to the relevant English and Maths resources below.

English Skills

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Maths Skills

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