Armley: Swallow Hill pupils gain employability skills


Pupils at Swallow Hill Community College in Armley have taken part in an award-winning education and employability programme to give them confidence and skills to pursue a career in their chosen industry.

5 STAR Futures was created by international legal business DWF and has been running at schools across the UK for the last six years, however, the programme recently completed by Swallow Hill was the first time that DWF has partnered with one of its clients to deliver the programme.

A group of volunteers from insurance company Direct Line Group joined DWF to deliver the programme to Year Nine students from Swallow Hill Community College.

The programme gave the youngsters a chance to learn about the world of work, as well as gaining valuable skills such as the importance of resilience and networking.

As well as learning about a career in the law, the collaboration with Direct Line Group gave the students the opportunity to learn about the insurance industry and gain a more varied insight into the career paths held by the volunteers and the experiences of both sectors.

Bryan Pearce, Deputy Headteacher of Swallow Hill Community College, said:

“As a school we are involved in a number of mentoring schemes, but 5 STAR Futures is unique in the way that it builds on each of the previous sessions. The students are gradually shown the skills they will need for the world of work.

“They also get the chance to practice them, whether it is communication, resilience or confidence-building there is an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding and role-play a fun element of the skill. The students also build strong bonds with the mentors, many of the students comment that it is the time they spend ‘just chatting’ to the mentors they value the most.”

Gail Taylor, Diversity and Community Engagement Manager at DWF, added:

“We were delighted that Direct Line Group could work with us on this particular programme in Leeds.

“We feel it is important that businesses offer support to young people to help them gain the skills needed for working life and we are pleased to have worked with Direct Line Group on this programme.

“We’re also delighted to have worked with the students of Swallow Hill and hope to expand on the programme during the next academic year.”


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