Supporting young people and adults to achieve their career ambitions: GC’s services and impact

  • Friday, March 4, 2022
  • Posted By The Growth Company

This week is National Careers Week, a week celebrated across the UK to promote the importance of high-quality careers advice and guidance to support young people as they start thinking about their next steps out of education and into employment. 

The Growth Company has long been passionate about helping people of all ages across Greater Manchester (and beyond) to enhance their job prospects. Over the past 30 years, our skills and employment provisions have played a pivotal role in opening up doors to long and rewarding careers across a variety of sectors.  

Proud to deliver the National Careers Service 

The Growth Company delivers the National Careers Service across the North of England, which provides information, advice and guidance for both young people and adults to help them make informed choices about their work, learning and training options. 

The service helps people who are out of work, facing redundancy or simply looking to progress in their career by helping them to assess their skills, interests and motivations, find courses and training, and to prepare for the job-hunting and interviewing process.  

The National Careers Service played a vital role during the pandemic in helping people who had been made redundant to identify their transferrable skills and switch careers – ensuring that they weren’t kept out of work for long and could easily transition into a new role or sector.  

Supporting and empowering young people  

Choosing what you want to do as a career is a difficult decision, however, the statistics show that for young people, there are some common misconceptions around what kinds of careers are attainable. Industry research has found that 84% of 16-24-year-olds don’t know how to turn their personal interests into a career – whilst 49% believe that a lack of good qualifications can hold them back from achieving their career goals. The same study also noted that almost 3 in 5 young people (58%) perceived ‘traditional’ careers (such as business admin or accounting) as ‘boring’ and ‘old-fashioned’, despite these careers being a fantastic foot-in-the-door at organisations large and small.  

Here at the Growth Company, our Education and Skills division is here to support young people with their next steps as they transition from education into the world of work, whatever industry they’re hoping to go into. This journey starts with a dedicated Schools Engagement team that visits schools to let students know about the different options that are available to them in terms of apprenticeships and training opportunities. This helps them to realise that turning their passion into a career is easier than they might think.  

Not only is GC Education and Skills rated by as ‘Good’ by Ofsted, it’s also one of the largest providers of apprenticeships and training in the country. Our apprenticeships cover a wide range of sectors, from marketing and management to healthcare and IT – with our purpose-built ‘SkillCentre’ in Trafford Park training the next generation of tradesmen and women in automotive, construction, manufacturing and engineering.  

Supporting and nurturing young people is at the heart of what we do. All of our learners receive tailored, one-to-one support, with personal tutors being on-hand to help whenever they need it. We also pride ourselves on our smaller class sizes to make the learning experience feel more personal. Our teams work closely with learners, helping them to build their confidence and break down any barriers which they feel are stopping them from achieving their full potential, whilst empowering them to take control of their future.  

Last year, the Growth Company helped over 8,000 people to obtain new skills or qualifications, creating brighter futures and enhanced career prospects.  

Helping adults to progress and break down barriers  

It’s not just young people that we support here at the Growth Company. GC Employment also delivers a wealth of contacts – both in Greater Manchester and across the North of England - designed to support vulnerable adults back into work. These could be individuals who have complex physical or mental health needs, who have been through the justice system, or who have experienced significant life events which may be impacting their ability to forge a successful career.  

Michelle Leeson, Managing Director of GC Employment, said: “We’re proud to work with local communities to help some of the hardest-to-reach or disadvantaged individuals into work. For example, in the last year, we’ve helped over 2,000 people with convictions to rehabilitate, supporting them to make positive changes to their lives and secure sustainable work.”

Michelle added: “However, it’s not just about working with the individuals – we also work with businesses to improve their workplace and recruitment practices, with the aim of making vacancies more accessible to people who might otherwise consider themselves incapable of achieving and thriving in a particular role, or with a particular organisation. This could be because they lack confidence, don’t have what they perceive to be the right skills or qualifications, or have health issues that need to be taken into account.

"We don’t just want to break down the barriers for the individual, we also want to show employers that by fostering a diverse and inclusive culture, they can open themselves up to a broader, untapped talent pool.” 

As part of our employment services, we also help businesses to identify skills gaps and upskill their staff with relevant qualifications. Our Skills Support for the Workforce programme – delivered across Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Sheffield City Region – is one such example of this. Not only does the initiative have huge benefits for the organisation in terms of bridging skills gaps, reducing recruitment costs and futureproofing the business, it also massively benefits the individual as it allows them to gain the skill they need to progress in their current or future career.  

Case study 

Kerrie Ann completed two management qualifications with Skills Support for the Workforce in Sheffield, something which has propelled her belief in herself and her career aspirations.

Kerrie Ann said: “My tutor, Joanna, has given me so many opportunities to learn and grow. She has a totally different view of me than what I have of myself. She has encouraged me to value my own worth and see that I am a massively important part of my organisation.” 

She added: “With the support, I have received and the encouragement from Joanne to take part in further learning, I have greater confidence in my own skills and will be able to apply for positions that I would have normally dismissed due to lack of qualifications and confidence. I would consider further training with Skills Support for the Workforce, and I’m going to keep in touch with Joanne, as there may be many learning opportunities for myself and other staff.” 

To find out more about apprenticeships and training opportunities with GC Education and Skills, visit their website.

To learn more about our Employment provision, and the support available to individuals and businesses, visit The Growth Company - Employment, here. 

For careers advice and guidance, the National Careers Service’s online service can be found here.