In recent years, an increasing number of young people have been gaining the interpersonal skills and confidence to make the transition into work, through a Prince’s Trust qualification delivered in Wales.
Launched in 2016, The Prince’s Trust Achieve programme is a personal development course for 11 to 19-year-olds. Run in partnership with schools and further education colleges across Wales, including St Illtyd’s, Ysgol Y Deri, and Cantonian High, Achieve provides a practical approach to learning which supports young people to fulfil their potential.
Earlier this year, a report revealed that more than half of 16-25 year olds in Wales (56%) believe a lack of self-confidence holds them back. The Macquarie Youth Index additionally found that almost a third (30%) of young people in Wales think getting relevant work experience is one of the biggest challenges in pursuing a career.
Seeking to tackle these issues, The Certificate and Diploma in Personal Development and Employability Skills (PDE) course, which is regulated by Qualifications Wales, is an integral part of the Achieve programme. It ensures that all learners have every opportunity to gain formal recognition of their skills and achievements.
The qualification recognises a breadth of personal skills, qualities and attitudes required by employers across a range of sectors and can be delivered at a variety of levels to suit the learner offering flexibility and choice. Since its launch, more than 1000 young people on Welsh Achieve programmes have gone on to complete the qualification.
“I didn’t think I could ever do this”
One of those students is Alfie Walters from Swansea:
Alfie, 17, had a history of low attainment and low motivation towards schoolwork.
He was introduced to The Prince’s Trust Achieve programme to help him gain more confidence and motivation after losing his parents. He responded positively to the learning style and gained his PDE Qualification.
Significantly, Alfie’s attendance reached 99 per cent over the time he was involved in the programme. The flexible approach to presenting work accommodated Alfie’s learning style and enabled him to succeed.
Alfie was so successful on the work experience unit that he was offered paid work. In particular, the course built up his confidence and helped him develop social skills to use in the workplace. Practice interviews, workplace visits and industry speakers have all contributed to Alfie’s development.
“I know I have gained a really good qualification. I didn’t think I could ever do this as I was never any good at school before I did the Achieve programme. Now I’ve got something to give employers.”
Alfie is highly motivated in seeking employment and training opportunities. He has applied for an apprenticeship and is veryoptimistic about his future.
Alfie’s success on this course has made him an excellent ambassador for the programme and he has been invited back to the school to motivate and encourage younger pupils.
With the number of students taking part in the Achieve programme increasing year on year, Hannah Curtis, Head of Education, Training and Development at The Prince’s Trust Cymru, says participation in the PDE qualification could help thousands more school leavers to boost their confidence:
“Qualifications Wales continues to support vocational education for Welsh learners including qualifications which assess knowledge, understanding and/or skills that relate explicitly to the world of work. The Prince’s Trust Cymru commits itself to expanding its provision across Wales, ensuring that young people have access to relevant qualifications which support the development of relevant employability skills offering vocational qualifications which are available for assessment in both Welsh and English”.
“While the value of academic attainment at this time of year is well documented, it is equally important that young people are developing the confidence and employability skills required to make the transition into the world of work. Our PDE Qualification is a valuable asset for many young people leaving education setting them up with the tools to thrive in the workplace, wherever that may be.”
For more information on The Prince’s Trust Cymru and its suite of personal development programmes, please call 0800 842 842 or email [email protected]