James at the LifeSkills graduation ceremony
James at the LifeSkills graduation ceremony

James Frith MP joined 53 pupils aged 13-15 from Bury schools who came together to celebrate their graduation with Barclays LifeSkills. The programme helps young people to get the employability skills and experiences they need to enter the world of work, and has already helped over 8.38 million young people in the UK.

Barclays has partnered with 11 secondary schools in Bury to deliver a bespoke skills training programme, with the aim of boosting the confidence and aspirations of Bury’s young people. This partnership is the first step in Barclays’ three-year commitment to boost Bury’s local economy through the Thriving Local Economies programme.

Thriving Local Economies was established with the goal of ensuring that every part of the UK can fulfil its potential and better understand how companies can help local economies to thrive. Bury was selected as the first pilot area and Barclays has been working closely with Bury Council, local schools and business groups since September 2018.

Over the course of the year, the students, many of whom had been identified as needing extra support to reach their full potential, were taken through practical LifeSkills sessions focusing on the transferable skills needed to succeed. The sessions were delivered in partnership with the Transformation Trust, with the young people also receiving mentoring from local Barclays staff.

Kirstie Mackey, Head of Barclays LifeSkills said; “Young people are central to the UK’s economic future. For towns like Bury to flourish in the long term, it’s essential that we equip the next generation with the key skills needed to succeed in the future world of work. Our Bury LifeSkills pupils have all worked really hard to get the most from this tailored curriculum and should feel incredibly proud of their achievements. They’ve focused on developing dynamic, flexible and transferable skills such as problem solving, active listening, presenting, interview preparation and creativity, which will always be relevant and important in their working lives. I’m grateful to our partners, the Transformation Trust and Bury Town council for working with us to make this opportunity possible for our graduating students.”

Participating schools included; Broad Oak Sports College, St Gabriel’s RC High School, The Derby High School, The Elton High School, Tottington High School, and Woodhey High School.

On the day, LifeSkills volunteers and their mentors took students through a mock interview process and a selection of students then presented their future job aspirations to Bury Town Hall’s 100 strong audience, highlighting the newly found skills they are passionate about continuing to develop. Students were then invited to take the stage to receive their graduation certificates. James Frith MP, Andrew Horner, Barclays Head of Small to Medium Size Enterprises for Greater Manchester and Councillor Tamoor Tariq, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Bury Council, also attended to share congratulations and words of encouragement with the pupils.

James Frith MP for Bury North said; “Today’s young people represent our future prosperity in Bury. By providing students with the opportunity to learn valuable, relevant workplace skills while at school, I believe they’ll have the best possible opportunities when entering the workforce in the years to come. I’m incredibly grateful to Barclays, the Transformation Trust, Bury Town Council and the students, for their hard work and dedication, which I’m sure, will pave the way to our students’ and Bury’s future success.”

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