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Care leavers at NCG Colleges offered virtual work experience thanks to unique partnership

Throughout the pandemic, NCG and its colleges have worked to support students through the disruption to their education, offering virtual and home-based alternatives to the practical learning and work experience it usually provides.

The Group also announced its commitment to ensuring no young person is left behind, launching a first-of-its-kind partnership with the Care Leaver Covenant, to help care experienced students take up employment and progression opportunities. The partnership aims to help students leaving care overcome specific challenges, such as having no family support and entering education with no stable housing or income.

Now, as students begin to return to classrooms in schools, colleges and universities, NCG and the Care Leavers Covenant are excited to launch a new initiative to support care experienced students, through the Covenant’s partnership with construction company Willmott Dixon.

Throughout April, care leavers across all seven NCG colleges will be able to access a new and exclusive virtual work experience programme in management from Willmott Dixon.

Delivered via Microsoft Teams, this work experience will give learners the opportunity to find out more about careers in construction management and develop their employability skills.

The project will include the chance to:

  • work on a group project with other participants engage with Willmott Dixon employees and hear about their careers.
  • learn how to pitch and present a project to a Dragon’s Den style panel.
  • receive top tips from the Willmott Dixon recruitment team on improving CVs and interview skills, and create a short presentation about themselves.

“This exciting initiative will encourage high aspirations for students and builds on NCG’s commitment to the Care Leaver’s Covenant,” commented Chris Payne, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of NCG.

“Our mission is to enable social mobility and economic prosperity through exceptional education. We strive to ensure that enterprise, engagement and employability are at the centre of every learner experience and this initiative is a fantastic way of ensuring that students of all backgrounds can develop their skills and prospects.”

Marie Wilkes, Senior Social Value Manager, from Willmott Dixon said: “Our virtual work experience programme, which runs over the course of a week, is a great opportunity for young people to take part in something different.

“It’s fun and interactive, and the students will learn many new skills to help them to stand out from the crowd when working towards the next steps in their career journey.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Care Leaver Covenant and to be able to offer a dedicated week to students leaving care.”

Natalie Latham, Head of Education Partnerships at the Care Leaver Covenant, added: “We are really excited about this amazing opportunity for students at NCG colleges. This is the first time we have worked with a Covenant signatory to shape an offer for the group and we hope that this can be the first of many.”

The work experience programme will run throughout April for care experienced students across NCG.