6 °CFri, 14

Parkhall pupils learn skills 'they need for a more positive future'

Clive Nesbitt

Reporter:

Clive Nesbitt

Email:

clive@alphanewspapers.co.uk

ANTRIM Enterprise Agency and Mallusk Enterprise Park have successfully delivered their ‘It’s All About Me’ programmes to students at Parkhall College.

The programmes are funded through Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council ‘Areas at Risk’ funding.

A big focus of the funding is giving our young people the skills they need to secure a more positive future.

The first day of the two-day programme of activities saw 84 Year 9 pupils enjoy learning all about enterprise and life skills.

The activities were designed to encourage the students to think about the importance of these skills and their transferable skills, and enable them to make better-informed choices in their future careers, whether that be enterprise or employment.

During the course of the day the students attended a range of workshops.

These included money management, cooking, DIY and sewing, facilitated by a range of local enterprises and social enterprises including the two enterprise agencies (Antrim and Mallusk), North Belfast Men’s Shed, Urban Community Chef and Sew So Personal Gifts and Alterations.

The purpose of these workshops was to make students aware of how life skills can aid and assist their everyday lives but also help them in their futures.

Programme Manager Kerry McClintock explained: “In an ever growing technology and data driven world, much of the focus in education has understandably taken a shift towards subjects that will prepare students for coursework and careers of the future.

“But life skills and how well-equipped students are to make good decisions and solve problems in their future jobs or businesses and personal lives, should also play a critical role.”

Day two gave 136 Year 12 and 13 students the opportunity to think about who they are and how this will contribute to their futures.

The day focused on the abilities and capabilities of the students, getting them to realise and identify for themselves the importance of personal development, confidence and image in their future jobs or businesses.

The activities allowed them to see how they can build on, enhance and develop all aspects of who they are, inspiring them to achieve what they really want to achieve and learn how to cope with obstacles that may get in the way.

Kerry McClintock added: “The overall aim of this programme was to make students recognise the importance of the skills they have, who they are and the decisions they make.

“We wanted to inspire, motivate and encourage them to see the impact transferable skills will have on their futures and to make them understand that by recognising these, will only go to further developing who they are and what they want to do.”

Head of Careers at Parkhall College, Mrs Jill Stubbs said: “This was an excellent inter-generational and community-based programme, which allowed the students to develop their teamwork and respect skills and learn a wide range of new skills.”

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