Following on from the exceptionally successful and award-winning forerunner BEACH (Brighton Employability Advice & Careers Hut), the Horsham District Youth Unemployment Task and Finish Group, led by Horsham District Council, set out to design an employability microsite for young people in the Horsham District, with the support of GatwickDiamondJobs.com and Makemedia. This idea was then expanded to represent the West Sussex part of the Gatwick Diamond. A partnership between neighbouring Local Authorities of Horsham District, Crawley Borough and Mid Sussex District Councils was created with West Sussex County Council and The Gatwick Diamond Initiative.
GatwickDiamondJobs.com and the partners of the project recruited a project group of students from local secondary schools and a sixth form college. These students are the creative designers of Take OFF ‘Our Future First’ and the project would not have been so successful without them. They are the first Take OFF Crew!
Stage 1: Young People
The students were recruited from The Forest Boys School and Richard Collyer’s Sixth Form College in Horsham, Manor Green College in Crawley and Oathall Community College in Haywards Heath:
- to explore the concept and importance of employability skills
- to discuss what employers look for in a potential employee
- to debate some of the barriers to getting a job
- to prepare to meet and interview local employers from the Gatwick Diamond area
Stage 2: The Employers
Looking at the key growth sectors in the Gatwick Diamond, we invited employers representing these sectors to The Arora Hotel in Crawley (a venue kindly offered free of charge) for an afternoon of networking and interviews with the students. The film production crew are students from Richard Collyer’s Sixth Form College. On the same day, a student film crew from The Forest School visited the Camellia Restaurant at South Lodge, Horsham to interview Head Chef Steven Edwards. These films which were subsequently used to produce the film clips that can be found in Meet some employers.
Particular thanks to all the Employers present on the day:
- American Express
- Arora Hotel
- Berkeley Homes
- Gatwick Airport
- Gatwick Diamond Initiative
- Mayo Wynne Baxter
- Richard Place Dobson
- Search Consultancy
After a networking lunch with the employers, the students used questions they had pre-prepared to interview the employers. They used their questions to prompt more in depth discussions around skills, experience, qualifications, youth unemployment, professional development and promotion opportunities for young employees.
Stage 3: The Creative Phase
Throughout the project, the Take OFF Crew explored design, theme and branding ideas in order to form a brief for developers Make Media. The students came up with the name and feel of the employability resource – which wonderfully represents the Gatwick Diamond.