LifeSkills providing a fun and engaging resource for students

Barclays LifeSkills, aims to help young people by providing the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to succeed, sharing tools, tips and resources in an interactive learning environment.

As we enter the new school year, Barclays LifeSkills has agreed to a further three-year partnership with Business in the Community (BITC) to continue equipping young people with the skills necessary for the modern world of work, as a delivery partner in schools across Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. To date, more than 28,000 young people have benefitted from Barclays LifeSkills sessions in Northern Ireland since 2021.

One school availing of this support is Longstone School, Belfast. Careers teacher Stephanie Plunkett said: “The pupils really enjoy the LifeSkills workshops. They find them fun, engaging and relevant. The LifeSkills lessons are linked to the curriculum, so it’s backing up what they are already learning in careers, citizenship and personal development classes. The facilitators bring the lessons to life and the pupils enjoy hearing from people who have worked in industry.”

LifeSkills provides young people with the skills and knowledge they need to support them in the future. It teaches them to better understand and develop the core transferable skills needed for entering employment, such as communication, problem-solving, adaptability, teamwork and leadership.

Mrs Plunkett continues, “The programme helps get our pupils ready for work experience, interviews and starting training or college. It helps them to build their self-confidence and teaches them how to identify and develop their own skills, qualities and talents.

The LifeSkills programme provides fantastic digital resources that are available for free on its website. These are suitable for educators, parents and guardians as well as the young people themselves, following a quick sign-up. There’s also the added advantage of introducing a new voice to the classroom, as students get to hear directly from people providing them with real-life experiences.

Mrs Plunkett stated, “The students love hearing from people who have worked in industry and appreciate lessons that are tailored to them, such as the social media workshop which is relevant to their needs and makes them consider the impact of their actions on the future. It’s great to get them thinking about problem-solving and decision-making through such interesting and interactive classroom tasks.”

Programme Manager Emma Morrison, who delivers LifeSkills workshops to the pupils of Longstone School, said: “Entering the working world has become more competitive than ever, and with multiple options for students who are preparing to leave school, programmes like LifeSkills are so important. It’s a great privilege to be invited into schools and to complement the curriculum by providing students with the knowledge, understanding and thought processes they’ll need as they look towards the future. We have such an array of lesson plans and resources to offer young people, and because it’s so applicable to real life, students are nearly always keen to engage with it. It’s always wonderful to see their awareness and appreciation for this support grow each time we meet them.”

As a new academic year progresses, BITC looks forward to a new year of LifeSkills. To find out more visit www.barclayslifeskills.com, or email emma.morrison@bitcni.org.uk.