500 Surrey pupils enhance employability skills thanks to funding from Babcock's joint venture with Surrey County Council


500 pupils from five Surrey schools* participated in a series of communication and interview technique workshops thanks to funding received from the Surrey Educational Trust, set up as part of the joint venture between Babcock and Surrey County Council.

The Surrey Educational Trust funds innovative and ambitious educational projects that help raise the aspirations of children and young people. The workshops funded by this initiative are run by communication experts Platform7Teen. They aim to enhance the resilience and life chances of young people by improving their communication and interview skills, both in more formal situations such as the workplace, and in wider social environments.

The finale event on 29th April saw a number of pupils from each school who had previously benefitted from the training come together in one location, St. Andrew’s School in Leatherhead.  Taking part in group communication and networking sessions, pupils shared their experiences, and one pupil commented on the value of his one-to-one session:

“I used to dress like a skater boy and found it difficult to talk to people. Since the session I have improved the way I dress and found it easier to talk to people – this has helped me to get a Saturday job.”

Claire Curran, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families Wellbeing attended the event along with Maria Dawes, Head of School Effectiveness for Babcock Education who said:

“This is an example of true team work, building partnerships and supporting schools and their pupils in something that is really important. Good communication skills are needed through all walks of life and if we can encourage the development of this at a young age, these pupils will have a head start and that’s great.”

Chris Grayling, local Surrey MP and Leader of the House of Commons also showed his support for the initiative and shared his thoughts with pupils on how good communication skills are key to enhance employability chances. His advice to pupils; make sure your application stands out in some way, demonstrate excellence in your presentation and be authentic so the real you can shine through. Mr. Grayling also encouraged pupils never to pass up an opportunity to get in front of an audience and talk to people, as this would serve them immensely well in life.

*St. Andrews, Glyn, The Priory, Rosebery and Therfield.

From right to left; Susanna Klemm - Director Platform7Teen, David Rowan - Director Platform7Teen, sixth form pupils, MP Chris Grayling, Maria Dawes – Head of Education, Babcock, Julie Stockdale - Head of Schools Commissioning, Surrey County Council, Clare Curran – Cabinet Member for Children and Families Wellbeing, Surrey County Council, Platform7Teen trainers and sixth form pupils.


For more information please contact Rita Congera at
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