Luton Council has launched its skills programme for young people as part of the £1.3 million Luton Investment Framework Skills and Opportunity programme.
The three year plan aims to strengthen the links between education and employment and help prepare students for work.
The council, together with schools, higher education partners, learning providers and employers have developed the programme aimed at 14-16 year olds and a pilot has been launched with eight schools, with a planned roll out to all schools from September.
The 16x16 project provides a way for young people to develop personal, learning and thinking skills and offers them the chance to display the attributes that employers feel are needed in the workplace, education and training.
They will develop evidence of their achievements and meet certain criteria by completing 16 activities related to communications, leadership and teamwork, professional conduct and motivation.
Leader of Luton Borough Council, councillor Hazel Simmons, said: “We are really excited to launch this new skills programme aimed at the young people of Luton.
“Over the coming years there will be in excess of 18,500 new jobs in Luton as part of our £1.5 billion inward investment programme to transform the town and working with our partners we are focused on supporting them to secure these roles.
“This is all part of our aim to create increased opportunities, and enhance prosperity across the town.
“We want to raise young people’s aspirations and help support them to reach their full potential whilst ensuring that they are prepared for the world of work. The Skills 16x16 project will help achieve this.”
Once they have taken part in the scheme students will have a clearer understanding of the world of work, the options and pathways available to them, be more confident and self aware, and have improved employability skills.
Achieving the 16x16 certificate will be recognised by employers who will offer benefits such as guaranteed work experience or interviews.
Chris Nicholls, Principal, Luton Sixth Form College said: “This exciting and innovative project will provide a vital link between the exceptional new employment opportunities that will be available in Luton and the young people currently in Luton schools.
“By developing their skills and experiences the project will enable them to take advantage of the new opportunities. It is about helping to ensure that Luton jobs go to Luton people.”
For more details on the 16x16 skills programme please visit our website www.luton.gov.uk/16x16.