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Opinion23rd February 2016

Barclays Premier League Trophy travels around Ark

The team that wins the Barclays Premier League Trophy will have proven themselves to be the best against tough competition. In this sense, the trophy represents resilience, drive, discipline and an unwavering focus on accomplishing a dream.

While the intended outcome is quite different – a place at university or a fulfilling career – Ark hopes to inspire our students to embody these same ideals. It was therefore an amazing opportunity for our students to see hard work personified when Barclays took the Premier League Trophy on tour across six of our schools.

Focusing on our sixth forms, Barclays volunteers first delivered a two hour LifeSkills session. LifeSkills is a programme developed with the support of Barclays which aims to ensure young people are equipped with the skills they need to be successful in the future. The volunteer led session gave students practical advice in areas such as networking, writing a CV and interviewing.

Ismahan, a year 12 student at Evelyn Grace Academy, said, ‘I thought that I had a great CV, but during the session I learnt that it definitely isn’t up to the standard it needs to be. The volunteers made it clear how there are so many people applying to jobs, so I have to make sure[[{“fid”:”93101″,”view_mode”:”default”,”fields”:{“format”:”default”,”field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]”:””,”field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]”:””,”field_tags[und]”:””},”type”:”media”,”link_text”:null,”attributes”:{“style”:”width: 400px; height: 310px; float: right;”,”class”:”media-element file-default”}}]] I stand out to an employer.’

Naveed, a year 12 student at Ark Elvin Academy, added, ‘I’m glad I came. We learned about all the little things that make a big difference: how you stand, how you walk, how you talk. You want to get people thinking about you in a positive manner, and knowing how important a first impression is, I want to make sure I get it right.’

Beyond the in-person session, students also had the opportunity to register for the LifeSkills interactive online platform. The platform has over 50 hours of free resources including videos, interactive tools, and lesson plans to teach young people valuable employability skills.

Faye Hayward, a Barclays representative explained, “I suppose the world of work can seem very daunting. But if you have someone to explain things to you, it becomes less scary. These students may already have many of the skills they need but when someone explains it to them a little, it just gives them a bit more confidence. They get to meet and learn from actual Barclays employees already in the world of work, sharing their life experiences.”

After the session, students got to see the Barclays Premier League Trophy in person and have their picture taken with it.

Kirstie Mackey, head of LifeSkills, created with Barclays, commented, ‘we are delighted to reward these Ark schools with a visit from the iconic Barclays Premier League Trophy. We’re proud of the positive impact we have on young people’s lives and are honoured to be part of the journey which helps share their future.’

If you would like to learn more about how your business can partner with Ark schools, contact