On Wednesday 6th July, the Focus Five Celebration Event, presented by TDA, awarded 46 students at an inspiring graduation ceremony.
In partnership with tSpace and the T4T (Together for Torbay) campaign, the event recognised young people for planning, evidencing and demonstrating core employment skills throughout the Focus Five Award programme. This is the second year of the programme.
Debbie Passmore, Partnership Executive at the TDA said: “Focus Five rewards achievement for participants around the five key skills of communication, team working, problem solving, organisation and customer service, all of which are incredibly valuable to many companies.
“The programme enhanced the skills of these young people and will most definitely support them when considering their career choices for the future. TDA would like to thank the schools, employers and Education Business Partnership South West, who dedicated their time to making the programme such a success.”
More than 150 people attended the ceremony to share the experiences of the graduates, mentors and assessors of the programme.
Alex Ledbrooke, Partnership Manager of Education Business Partnership South West, part of the CSW group, said: “It’s really encouraging seeing the students involved in the Focus Five project develop in so many ways that will soon help them into employment. We are hugely grateful to the employers from local businesses who have volunteered their time to help the local workforce of tomorrow have the best possible chance of an exciting and rewarding career”.
The Focus Five programme was delivered to a cohort of year 10 students from Torbay Schools. These students, who are facing personal and academic challenges, benefit from the personalised one to one support that the programme offers.
Martin Cavanna, Director of The Cavanna Group and Focus Five mentor, said: “Schools concentrate on academic achievement and this is rigorously measured. For an employer this only buys an interview. What employers are looking for are candidates that can demonstrate their willingness to learn, can work as part of a team, can manage their time and is capable of communicating clearly and concisely. The Focus Five awards have been developed to give students a head start when they apply for a job by addressing claims that students do not appreciate their transferable skills.”
From the 46 graduates, 18 achieved the gold award, 13 silver and 9 bronze.
Alongside this, one student from each of the four schools was awarded certificates for showing the most progress in the Focus Five programme. These were Alisha Clifford, Aimee Cox, Ben McNally and Frank Barrett.
To provide the students with an opportunity to explore potential career options, including up to date apprenticeship vacancies, TDA has developed the tSpace web platform www.torbayspace.co.uk.
To accompany the website a tSpace App, designed using feedback from students at local secondary schools, has been created to encourage 14-18 year olds to engage with tSpace. The App can be downloaded on both Apple and Android devices.
TDA is looking to recruit a group of student volunteers to become members of Team tSpace and further develop tSpace to better suit the needs of a young audience.
Team tSpace volunteers will assist the TDA in developing future web and App content, through blogging about their experiences and helping decide how to market the resources better to their peers. To volunteer to become a Team tSpace member, email Debbie Passmore on Deborah.email@example.com or call 01803 208378Follow