Youth Work

Wondering what next with jobs or education and need some support?

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Congratulations to year 11 students – you have now officially left school. But what happens now? Whether you’re looking for an apprenticeship or a place at college or sixth form or even if you’ve got a question about results day, our careers team is here to support you.  In this blog, Sarah Traynor from our careers team looks at the different options for young people post year 11 and signposts the financial and emotional wellbeing support available. 

Looking for jobs and apprenticeships? We won’t pretend things are easy right now but, as lockdown eases, more employers are starting to think about recruitment.

If you’ve made applications but haven’t heard, send the company a short, polite email, saying you’re still keen to work for them, or, if you applied through Sheffield Progress, keep logging on for updates. Carry on making other applications too.

If you’re struggling to get an apprenticeship, look at traineeships and study programmes as a way of getting skills and experience. You may be able to register your details with them until employers are recruiting, and they may also offer online training that you can do from home. Study programmes and traineeships are classed as learning rather than jobs, so they don’t pay a wage. But they attract Child Benefit and, in some cases the 16-19 Bursary.

Where to look for jobs and apprenticeships. You can look at our jobs page  and on the Government’s National Apprenticeship Service pages.

College and sixth form applications
If you’ve applied to college or sixth form, then you’ve either had an unconditional offer or you’re waiting for your place to be confirmed. If you’ve not yet applied, then there’s still time to apply but some courses will be filling up so check with the college or school first.

What will happen with GCSE results day and what if I want to resit?

GCSE results day is on Thursday 20 August. A Level results are out the week before, on 13 August. Check with your school or college how to collect your results as this will depend on social distancing rules.

You will receive a calculated grade for each subject which has been assessed by your school and agreed with the exam board. The grades will look the same as in any other year.

In certain circumstances you may be able to appeal against your result. Speak first to your school or college if you want to do this. You will also be able to re-sit subjects this autumn if you’re not happy with any of your grades. Depending on what happens with lockdown, it’s expected that A Level re-sits will be in October, with results issued by Christmas, and GCSE re-sits in October/November with results in January or February 2021.

We’ll be putting out more information before results time so keep on checking our website and social media.

After results day, schools and colleges normally hold enrolment events where you get a chance to speak to staff and officially sign up for your new course. These events may happen online this year so look out for messages from the school or college or check their websites.

What happens about money?
Child benefit will continue until age 20 if you stay in full time learning. This could be at college, sixth form or in work-based learning (e.g. a study programme or traineeship) provided it is approved and unpaid.

If you don’t stay in learning, Child Benefit will end on 31 August (or earlier if you start work before then). If you’re not fixed up on 31 August, there’s also Child Benefit Extension, which can normally be claimed for up to 20 weeks from the last date you attended school. Visit the Government’s Child Benefit pages or call 0300 200 3100.

If you get a job or apprenticeship, Child Benefit will end as you will be paid a wage.

You might also be able to get a 16-19 Bursary if you’re full time learning, facing hardship and age 16-19 (or 16-25 if you have an Education, Health and Care Plan). There are two types of bursary: The vulnerable bursary is worth up to £1,200 if you in care / leaving care or get certain benefits in your own name. Discretionary bursaries help with costs such as travel, equipment or meals.

Speak to your student services or training provider and visit the 16-19 bursary fund pages for details.

Other benefits
If you’re under 18, other benefits are only paid in special cases, e.g. if you’re estranged from your parents. The main benefit is called Universal Credit.

Help with travel
If you have a 16-18 Travel Pass you get cheaper travel (currently 80p per journey) on local busses and trams and half fare on Northern Trains. Visit Travel South Yorkshire for details and to apply.

Remember that at present you’re still advised to avoid using public transport if you can. If you use it, you must wear a face covering, keep a safe distance, wash or sanitise your hands frequently and either use contactless payment or buy your ticket in advance.

Got a question?
We run a helpline for young people (age 16-19) needing advice about looking for work, training, full time study, or who just want a bit of help with planning their next step. It’s open Tuesday-Thursday between 1pm-4pm on 0114 2016644.
Or you can email us at:
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

Feeling low, a little anxious or worried and need someone to talk to?
Finishing Year 11 and waiting for results is always an anxious time. But this summer has been extra stressful so check out our Door 43 Wellbeing Service; follow them on Instagram or contact them by emailing: [email protected] to get in touch.

Looking for things to do?

Our youth work team are also working on interactive online activities, such as cooking tutorials. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for updates.

The National Citizen Service (NCS) is still running a summer programme, although it will look a bit different this year. Check out wearencs.com for details.

 

 

 

 

 

Door 43 wellbeing blog: Tips for tackling anxiety triggered by lockdown easing

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In these blogs our Door 43 team provide wise words and support to help young people manage emotional health and wellbeing during this difficult time. Be sure to look out for these blogs on the Sheffield Futures website and our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels. 

This week, Connor takes a look at tackling the anxiety and negative feelings caused by the need to abandon our recently learned coping strategies as lockdown eases and we are required to adapt and change our approach yet again. Connor looks at the things we can do to ease negative feelings and stay emotionally well as lockdown eases. 

As we move into the gradual easing of lockdown, for many of us this brings longed-for opportunities like seeing friends and family, playing sports, going on a staycation, heading into town, going shopping, or getting back to work or school (even if they are at a social distance).

While these changes are happy and exciting ones, for many of us including myself, even this increased freedom can be difficult for our mental health.

For many, the prospect of coming out of lockdown when there are still active debates about the fundamentals of how we deal with and treat the virus can be a real worry. Especially to those more vulnerable to the virus and those of us with mental health concerns.

A survey by charity Anxiety UK found that the idea of lockdown restrictions being lifted led to an increase in anxiety for 67% of those polled.

Fear and anxiety are possibly the most common emotional responses any of us will feel as we approach the release from lockdown. This response is how our brain reacts to potential danger – like a pandemic- in order to keep us safe. Therefore your brain is trying to protect you! That’s why you might be feeling anxious and stressed about returning to ‘normal’.

Finding a way to adjust and adapt to lockdown took a lot of emotional energy and we may have finally found a way to cope, so it’s natural that we may be hesitant to leave this behind and start the change process all over again. And we should also expect it will take some time to find our way back and to reconnect with things we have been distant from.

So if many of us are feeling this ‘coming out of lockdown anxiety’, we should prepare for the fact that the end of lockdown might bring its own set of changes and challenges, just like it did at the start.

But as with many of the other challenges we have faced this year, we are not alone, and we are capable of overcoming them – and I hope the list of wellbeing tips and advice below can help you along the way:

 

For more advice around coming out of lockdown anxiety, check out the links below:

Young Minds 

Mental Health 

Kids Helpline 

“You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice.” — Bob Marley

Sheffield Futures supports Career Guidance Guarantee

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Sheffield Futures has joined hundreds of organisations in providing backing for a Careers Guidance Guarantee for young people and unemployed adults.

The Career Development Policy Group have joined up with the Fair Education Alliance to write an open letter to the Secretary of State  calling for the Department for Education to introduce a Career Guidance Guarantee for young people and unemployed adults.

This letter calls for every young person and unemployed adult to have access to career guidance to support them to make informed decisions. It is important that individuals are able to find the destinations that are right for them so that they can make the most of the available opportunities post COVID-19.

You can view the open letter and check for updates here.

Door 43 wellbeing blog: Using time positively in lockdown

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In these blogs our Door 43 team provide wise words and support to help young people manage emotional health and wellbeing during this difficult time. Be sure to look out for these blogs on the Sheffield Futures website and our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels. 

This week, Chris takes a look at his own experience of the lockdown period and how he’s managed to turn a negative situation into a positive one to use the time more proactively and stay emotionally well. 

Hello everyone!

For this weeks Blog I want to write about how I’ve been trying to make the most of this lockdown period. Turning its negatives into positives by pushing myself to use this time a bit more proactively. Maybe learn a new skill or simply to watch a film that’s been sat in my watch later list for months.

Before the lockdown happened I had several things I wanted to have a go at or learn or even just things I wanted to watch but life always seemed to get in the way. I figure now is the perfect time to get some of these things done.

Growing my own fruits and veg.

Last year I grew a tomato plant and some potatoes in a bag in the garden, and to my amazement, given I hadn’t got a clue what I was doing, I ended up with a decent amount of tomatoes and potatoes and I actually really enjoyed it and felt a sense of achievement.

So this year I thought I would step it up a gear and have attempted to grow a wider range of fruits and vegetables and have had various levels of success.

I’ve attempted to grow potatoes, parsnips, lettuce, carrots, radishes, spring onions, cucumbers, bell peppers, chilli peppers, strawberries and a couple of types of tomatoes all from seed and with very little understanding of what each of them needs besides what a bit of a google can tell me and a ‘can do’ attitude.

 

The potatoes, Radishes, lettuce and strawberries are doing really well and I think are now about ready to be eaten.

The tomatoes and Chilli peppers have fruits on them but aren’t quite ready yet, not really sure at all how long they take but we’ll see.

The cucumber plant is a bit of a sad story.. it was doing so well and grew a massive cucumber which we have since eaten and it tasted great but I followed Google’s instructions and moved the plant outside when it grew to a certain size but it seemed to wither, and despite my best efforts just never recovered. I think maybe I left the fully grown cucumber on it for a little too long or the move from the warm inside to outside may have been a bit much for it. It’s all learning for next year.

The parsnips have finally started growing, I’ve had to plant seeds several times and I think something disturbed the first lot I sewed but they’ve recently started to grow and have a long way to go to being ready.

The carrots are basically a no show. Despite sewing a couple of different types at different times and making sure they’re watered they haven’t really done anything yet. Maybe the seeds just got eaten by birds as quickly as I was putting them in.

I’ve really enjoyed doing this for several reasons. As I mentioned before, there has been a sense of achievement in managing to grow something from a seed and working to look after it as it grows but also because a few members of my family enjoy gardening and my parents and my partner’s grandfather have allotments and it’s been really nice having a shared interest that we could talk about together to keep conversation away from Covid-19, PPE and queuing for shops.

If there’s something you’ve always wanted to learn how to do or that you just thought looked interesting I strongly urge you to go for it! What better time than now?

Getting outside!

As I’m sure many of you have also experienced, I have found that being in the house so much has impacted really heavily on my mood.

When lockdown started, myself and my partner Laura made sure we went on a little  walk around the block straight after our work day ended and we managed to keep this going until June when it seemed to rain every day but as soon as we stopped that feeling of being stuck inside became more intense.

Now the weather, while still a bit hit or miss, has slightly improved, we have started to go on our evening walks again however we aren’t thinking about it as gong for a walk but more that we’re exploring the areas around where we live.

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know more about our neighbourhood. Turns out there are little pathways connecting loads of the roads like some kind or rabbit warren and we’ve learned loads of shortcuts,  but also that there’s a farm literally two roads away which we had no idea was there.

Now that restrictions are being eased a little we feel more comfortable about being out and on weekends we have been trying to go a little further away from home for the walks to some woodland and spending some time in this change of scenery has had a really positive impact on our moods.

I really recommend making sure you get outside,  provided you make sure you maintain social distancing and take measures to keep yourself safe and would also suggest you take loads of pictures of places or times you’ve enjoyed!

I always forget to take pictures when out so am trying to remind myself to do this so I can look back on places we’ve been on these little adventures as a reminder the good times!

Clearing ‘watch later’ lists

Another thing I’ve been trying to do, mainly when its raining is to actually watch some of the films or shows I’ve said I wanted to see.

I seem to add loads of things to various ‘watch later’ lists such as on Netflix and its got to a point now where this list feels like a chore which it really shouldn’t be.

So now I’ve been trying to actually get through this list before I add anything new to them and I’m not going to lie, even simply watching a film and then removing it from my list feels great.

So my advice to you is to get yourself really nice and comfy, line up your tv snacks, settle in and watch that film or show you’ve been putting off! Or it might be a good time to delete any films it turns out you’re just not that bothered about watching and so something you are interested in instead.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a drastic impact on a lot of peoples plans for 2020. Lots of events having to be postponed until a later date or cancelled all together but it doesn’t mean this time has to be completely wasted. Let’s try to use it as best we can and come out of all of this with new skills, knowledge or just loads of little tasks completed, ready for whatever’s next!

Bye for now. Chris.

Inspiration for celebrating Pride this year

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June is Pride month, a month dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQ+ communities all around the world. Pride is usually celebrated with lots of parades and marches but with coronavirus and social distancing still in place, things will be a little different this year.

Unfortunately, Pride in Sheffield is cancelled this year too but at Sheffield Futures we want to support Sheffield’s young people to continue the celebration of LGBTQ+ communities and affirm their identities. That’s why our youth workers Beth and Natalie have put together some ideas to help young people celebrate.

Top tips for celebrating Pride at home this year

  • Engage with LGBTQ+ media. Netflix has a whole section of LGBTQ+ films. Spotify and Apple music have a number of playlists and podcasts by LGBTQ+ artists.
  • Share LGBTQ+ content with friends and family who are supportive of your identity. This can help them to get to know you better and reduce feelings of loneliness.
  • Connect with other LGBTQ+ people through forums and online chat e.g. Organisations such as LGBT Foundation, Terrance Higgins Trust and Galop are holding number of workshops, events and support sessions via Zoom so you can stay connected.
  • Watch tutorials on YouTube. This is a great time to develop new skills whether that be learning how to do make-up and contouring to learning how to play your favourite song on a musical instrument.
  • Research your LGBTQ+ heroes. Learning how other LGBTQ+ people have endured and survived challenges can be both inspiring and reassuring that you are not alone! Stonewall have put together a list to get you started.
  • Wear an item of clothing that signifies your authentic self. Clothing and jewellery are a great way of representing who you are. It can be as wild as a green & pink polka dot mini skirt or as subtle as a necklace.
  • Use creative outlets such as journals, poems or song lyrics to record how you’re feeling. Documenting your experiences can be a powerful way of learning from them and processing the emotions you’re experiencing.
  • Talk about your identity with people you trust. This could be over the phone, video or via instant messenger if it’s not safe to talk openly.

Remember, if you need support Door 43 offers support to 13-25 year olds on a range of emotional wellbeing issues. Our service provides information, advice and guidance to young people experiencing issues such as low mood, stress and anxiety, loneliness, difficulty accessing education or employment and low confidence. We aim to intervene at an early stage to stop emotional and wellbeing issues in their tracks before they develop into more serious mental health issues. Find out more about the support Door 43 offers and how to get in touch here.

Door 43 wellbeing blog: How to work or study from home and stay well

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In these blogs our Door 43 team provide wise words and support to help young people manage emotional health and wellbeing during this difficult time. Be sure to look out for these blogs on the Sheffield Futures website and our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels. 

This week, Annis takes a look at her own experience of working from home and shares the experiences and learnings from this time and some top tips to stay healthy and motivated.

I decided to do a blog on my experiences of working from home in the hope that I could share some of my thoughts and feelings about this very strange phenomena.  If like me, this is your first time of either working or studying from home, I am sure it has taken some minor adjustments to say the least!

During my normal working day, I am used to being surrounded by people all day long, so working in isolation with just a laptop for company is very strange.   We have been working in this new social pattern for weeks now and I am beginning to crave human interaction – I am even missing the minor irritations of working closely with others.  However, over the last few weeks, I have discovered a few strategies that appear to make at least my time alone more bearable.   Here are some things that helped me:-

 

 

  1. Getting dressed in the morning! While it seems very tempting to stay in your Pjs all day, I found this sends quite a confusing message to your brain! I felt that by not wearing outdoor clothes, I was under the false impression that I was either on holiday, ill or it was the weekend so there was no need to focus on anything constructive.  I found it hard to stay focused and felt like I was constantly fighting the desire to stay in bed all day!  For me, getting dressed as soon as I woke up as I would normally do was something that helped to remind me that I had things to do and I needed to focus and jobs to achieve.
  2. Try to stick to your routine – One way you can do this is by getting up at the same time you would as if you were going out to work, college or school.  For me this helps me to plan my day and set realistic targets that I aim to achieve by the end of the day. It is another way of telling your brain and body that you are also still in work mode which has helped me to make the most of the time I have.  The time I would have spent travelling I have added as time spent listening to music, catching up on social media or watching a series on Netflix.  You can also allow yourself breaks as you would in a normal working day.  Working to your normal hours also helps you know when it is time to switch off at the end of your day helping to create a clear work/life balance.
  3. Avoid Distractions – I find multi-tasking really hard and have never found it easy to focus on more than one thing at once.  I realise some people work well listening to music and if you are one of those people that is fine.  However, having your phone in a different room to avoid text alerts or phone calls while you’re working could help to avoid un-necessary distractions.  If you do enjoy listening to music while working, perhaps have it a level that will not interrupt your focus.  If you are living with others, find a quiet room in the house that is unlikely to be interrupted by other people.
  4. Stay connected to others – Which sounds contradictory as we are socially isolating, but social media can help us to stay in touch with friends, family and co-workers while staying safe.  Sharing your personal stories, thoughts and feelings is really important when you are working from home as you can start to feel isolated if your social contact is reduced.  Why not be the first person to text or message a friend and ask how they are doing?  They will probably be delighted to know someone is thinking of them during these strange times.
  5. Spending time outdoors and exercising– It is important to keep exercising to give yourself a mental and physical break from your routine.  Taking a walk or jog while respecting the social distancing rules is a good way to take your mind off work and it can help to alleviate potential boredom from being in just one place.  If you are unable to go outside, try opening your window and listening to the birds, looking at the flowers and being mindful of your thoughts and feelings.
  6. Eat Healthy Meals – This was certainly a challenge for me during the first few days of lockdown.  Being a person who loves food, the temptation to eat and snack like I was on an all inclusive holiday was very tempting.  I think it may have something to do with the boredom of being in one place all day, so I was enticed to the fridge on a very regular basis and I was not picking out the healthy stuff!  My instincts were to find the most fattening and sugar loaded food and I appeared to be in a cycle of eat, drink and repeat for what felt like ages!  After a while, I started to feel slightly ill and I realised I had not eaten anything that wasn’t fried, sugar or chocolate coated in a while and realised I needed a change!  Trying to eat normal meals also helped me feel more like a normal working day.

I realise that everyone has their own ways of dealing with difficult situations but these are just some tips that have helped me to maintain some sort of normality during these very usual times.

I hope it helps –  take care and stay safe everyone. Bye for now.

GCSE and A level results: What happens if you don’t get the grades you’re expecting?

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Schools and examination boards are working together to make sure GCSE and A levels are still graded but what happens if you don’t get the grades you were expecting? Or if you’re taking other qualifications?

Sarah from our Careers Education, Information and Guidance team has put together a Q&A to answer some of the questions you may have.

Will I be able to retake my exams GCSE or A level exams?

Yes, there will be the opportunity to re-sit subjects either this autumn or in summer 2021. The plans for autumn re–sits and the subjects available are still being drawn up but they’re due soon.

What if I retake and get an even lower grade?

You will be able to use whichever grade is higher as your official grade.

If I retake in the autumn will I get a new grade in time to start university?

This is still being sorted out but at the moment the view is that A Level retake results should be out by Christmas, GCSE english and maths in January 2021 and other GCSEs in February.

Universities (and also colleges and sixth forms) will try to be flexible but, if you’re thinking about autumn resits, you should consult with the university / institution concerned.

I’m home schooled. How will grades and retakes work for me?

If the school / college / centre where you had registered to take your exams has seen enough of your work to make an assessment then you will get a calculated grade. If they are unable to do so, you can ask to register at a centre which has more experience of this type of learning and assessment. If no calculated grade can be awarded, you will have the opportunity to resit.

You need to:

Contact your exam centre to ask whether they can assess your grades.

If you wish to register at another centre, contact the exam board for details.

What’s happening with other qualifications?  

It will depend on the qualification. There are many different types, so this is complex and some of it is still being sorted out.

Broadly speaking, for qualifications that are used for entry to university or further education you will, where possible, receive a calculated grade (as with GCSEs and A Levels). Many BTECs, for example, will fall into this group.

However, some vocational (work related) qualifications must also involve assessing your skills to make sure you are capable of doing the job. Where possible these assessments are being adapted so that they can still happen safely (e.g. online or through video).

How can I find out more?

Keep in touch with your school or college who are working with exam boards to sort this out.

For more information keep checking here.

Got a job? Great. How to begin work brilliantly

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Have you been looking for a job in lockdown? Are you feeling excited but a little nervous about the prospect of starting a job? Perhaps it’s your first job and you’ve no idea what to expect.

Here, Alex Leonard, Employer Engagement Co-ordinator at Sheffield Futures provides advice and guidance on how to prepare for your first day and what to expect.

Hello, Alex here and today I’m talking to those of you that have made a great list of skills, delivered a fantastic CV, done a knock-out interview and as a result have nailed that job. I’ll be talking to you about how to prepare yourself for making a fantastic first impression that will continue to give for you weeks into the job. Here are my top tips on how to begin work brilliantly.

  • Presentation and hygiene. First and foremost it’s essential that you turn up looking and fresh and smart. If you need help getting a suit or professional clothing, we can help, give us a call. If you’re due to wear a uniform at work then make sure you have given the right sizes to your line manager or the person organizing your introduction
  • Mentally fresh and energized. This is all about feeling fresh and energized so you can tackle the day ahead. Make sure you’ve eaten well and had a good nights sleep. This will give you the energy to deal with interactions, keeping you alert and focused so you can make the best impression possible and deal with information overload! You’ll have to take onboard a lot of information on your first day!
  • Be professional. If you look, feel and act smart then you will gain people’s respect from the outset. This is important, as the positive relationships you make will help you be memorable and will help you as you get settled in
  • Smile and be polite. This will make you approachable. Be enthusiastic and ask questions about what you’re being told. Show you’re proactive and enthusiastic
  • Take notes. Don’t feel silly walking around with a note pad. Make notes of names of colleagues, hours and shifts and times. You can use this as your memory back up!
  • Awareness of process. You will most likely have an induction meeting on your first day which will involve introductions to people, health and safety processes and being shown round the building. Make sure you take notes on how things are done – the culture – for example, is there a dress down Friday? Are you allowed to eat at your desk and importantly where can you get a coffee or a snack!

For more information, advice and guidance about getting into work from Alex look out for Alex’s videos on Sheffield Futures’ YouTube channel or call Sheffield Futures on 0114 201 2800

Found a job you like the look of? How to best demonstrate your skills to nail that job

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Are you leaving school this year? Have you been looking for a job in lockdown? Have you found a job you like the look of but you’re not sure how to demonstrate your skills?

Alex Leonard, Employer Engagement Co-ordinator at Sheffield Futures provides advice and guidance on how to demonstrate your skills on a job application, or on the phone during an interview.

Hello, Alex again here and this time I’m going to look at the top ten skills that employers in Sheffield want to see and how to show you’ve got these skills.

Top 10 skills

  1. IT and tech

Remember the importance of demonstrating this. Unless you provide an example specifically, other people won’t just assume you have the skills. For example, if you’re going for an office job, specifically outline how you’ve used Office 365 in the past to meet objectives.

  1. Problem solving

Think about a time in life when you’ve overcome a problem. If you don’t have a work-based problem then something personal is fine too. Think about what the problem was, what you did to solve it and what the result was.

  1. English language

If you’re speaking, remember to think about what you want to say and then speak clearly, slowly and be conscious of breathing normally to stay calm.

  1. English literacy

If you’re writing a CV or an application, the quality of your written presentation says a lot about you. Remember do your applications in Microsoft Word and use the spelling and grammar check. If you can, get someone you trust to look over it for you!

  1. Attention to detail

Show the employer you’ve spent some time looking at their website and finding out details about them.

  1. Teamwork

If you don’t have team-work experience on a job then think about a time you have worked in a team in school, on a project or even while gaming online or doing a team sport. What part did you play in the team meeting its goal?

  1. Maths

A good way to demonstrate your skills in this area is how you manage money in your personal life. How do you manage the money you have to make sure you can meet your needs?

  1. Planning

Make sure you’ve read the job description, you know what they’re looking for and you can demonstrate your skills in these areas! Be there on time, well dressed and show them you know your strengths and weaknesses.

  1. Organisation

Do your research. Use this to define reasons why you want to work for them. This will set you apart.

  1. Communication

Talk clearly but also be conscious of listening, make sure your body language is alert, confident and smart and make direct eye contact with the person you are talking to.

For more information, advice and guidance about getting into work from Alex visit www.sheffieldfutures.org.uk and check out  Alex’s videos on Sheffield Futures YouTube channel 

Job hunting? Where to start if you’ve no on the job experience

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Are you due to leave school this year and looking for your first proper job? No work experience and feel like you’ve not much to offer?

Alex Leonard, Employer Engagement Co-ordinator at Sheffield Futures provides advice and guidance on looking at the skills you’ve got and growing these to give you the edge when it comes to securing a job.

First of all I want you to think about your skills. I like to call this, looking at what’s in your skills jar. When you interact with people in life you grow your communication skills and when you overcome difficulties, you grow your problem-solving skills. As you do these things you add to your skills and your skills jar fills up.

So, how do we go about filling that skills jar? Firstly, it’s really important to take on the right mindset. The mindset we all need to grow anything in life is a positive mindset. Growing ourselves, growing our skills, growing anything is hard work, it takes a positive and ‘can do’ mindset but it’s worth it, as the good things that come with work, like money, confidence and feeling good about yourself are all more than worth a bit of hard work in the short term!

Grow the skills you have got

So now you know what your skills are, have a think about how you can grow the list of skills to get where you want to be. Here are some ideas:

Training courses

Training courses are a good port of call if you want to strengthen your Maths or English skills or even want to go down a specialist route for example writing code for websites or driving trucks.

Volunteering

Work for a charity or do great work in community to learn skills as you go. Volunteering looks great on your CV as it shows you have the get up and go to get the experience employers are looking for.

Voluntary Action Sheffield (VAS) is a great place to look in Sheffield www.vas.org.uk or you can look on the websites of charities that interest you.

Work experience

Apply for temporary unpaid work experience and get a foot in the door. This will give you vital experience and exposure to the workplace. You will be able to get a reference and may even get lucky and be the first to know about paid jobs coming up!

Entry level jobs

Entry level jobs are jobs have a low requirement for skills or training, they’re paid and rely on doing a great interview. This might be a good option if you know the specific field you want to be in, are aware of what’s in your skills jar and want to work your way up in an organisation.

For more information, advice and guidance about getting into work from Alex check out Alex’s videos on Sheffield Futures YouTube channel 

How you can help

Our charity is dedicated to helping Sheffield's young people to reach their full potential and achieve the best out of life, whatever their starting point. To help us to do more to support young people and communities we need your help. Just remember, every penny you donate will make a difference.