Supporting young people to develop their employability skills

In 2015, Rob was looking for a challenging team-building opportunity to support the local community, so the team got involved with our employability programme. The scheme encourages staff to share their knowledge by designing and delivering employability workshops at local schools and colleges, helping students develop vital workplace skills.

I was really keen to get involved in the employability programme – there are lots of great people in my team with strong skills to share, so I knew we would have a really positive impact. On our first day, we sent a group of volunteers to Calderstones School, close to our Liverpool office.

We began the day drawing on our experience to design a series of interactive sessions to develop the students’ communication, teamwork, presentation and leadership skills. In the afternoon, it was time for us to stand up in front of the class!

Thirty students aged 16 to 18 descended on us to take part. Along the way, we also gave a flavour of life at RSA and working in the insurance industry.

We had a great time and were delighted with the outcome of the day and the fantastic feedback our group of volunteers received from the students and teachers.

The workshops have been such a success that we are now developing a longer term programme with the school. Some students have already visited us, spending an afternoon to focus on their interview skills and gain a more in-depth insight into our business.


Employability workshops with young people

Employabilityworkshopsvideojpg Play video
This film follows a group of RSA volunteers delivering a bespoke employability workshop for students from a local school.

The team have really enjoyed themselves too. It is daunting to design the sessions from scratch and stand up in front of a group of students, but it is so rewarding to see the impact you have in such a short amount of time. 

Another success of the programme was one that we had not anticipated: Ray, one of the students who attended the day, successfully applied for his first ever job in our Service team. He said he applied because he was so impressed with the support he was given by RSA. We are delighted that he has joined us.

Business volunteers can play a really important role in our local schools and colleges, helping students develop soft skills that are crucial to getting a job – but the benefits are definitely mutual.  The workshops are challenging and motivating for my team and help build morale. And we hope we can bring in more new talent like Ray. I recently heard that my colleagues in Sunderland have recruited two team members as a result of their employability programme too, so it does work! 

For further information, you can watch a short film about one such workshop my colleagues in London organised.