Bolton pupils are being recognised for thinking more positively about their future career prospects and plans with the ‘I Can Make It Happen’ and ‘Aspire Projects’.
The ‘I Can Make It Happen Project’ sees guest speakers visit primary schools to give the children an insight into their profession, the qualifications that are required to do their job and there is an opportunity for the children to have their specific questions answered.
The talks give pupils an overview of a wide range of careers and professions which can help shape what they want to do in the future and include sectors such as: construction, manufacturing, sports, retail, broadcast journalism, health, law, education and engineering.
In addition to guest speaker sessions, activities are also arranged to help the pupils identify their own skills and qualities through the use of drama, vocational workshops, tours of local businesses and visits to educational and sporting settings.
The project originally started in Tonge with The Haulgh. Local data showed that there was a high rate of teenage pregnancies and high level of NEETS (those not in education, employment or training). Worklessness and low aspirations were also identified as issues. This year it is also being delivered in other areas including: Farnworth, Great Lever, Johnson Fold and Washacre.
The project continuously receives positive feedback from pupils and school staff and the number of year 5/6 pupils taking part has increased from 180 in 2010 to 580 in 2014.
One of the ‘I Can Make It Happen Project’ graduation ceremonies takes place at the Reebok Stadium on June 20, where the Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Martin Donaghy, will present certificates to the 143 children pupils that have completed the course from Cherry Tree Primary (The Orchards), The Ferns Primary Academy, Johnson Fold Primary and Washacre Primary schools.
The ‘Aspire Project’, which is a mini version of the ‘I Can Make It Happen Project’, was launched on May 19 with over 250 year 5 and 6 pupils from primary schools in Rumworth signing up to the course. This took place over just two and a half days and focused on talks and activities and graduation ceremonies based in the schools.
In addition to helping them aspire to their future career goals, the project encourages them to get involved in more positive activities and live happy and healthy lives.
Both projects were set up with funding from Bolton Council, Neighbourhood Management and Bolton at Home. They are delivered in partnership with a large number of organisations including: local schools, 5-19 Service, Healthy Schools, Bolton College, Bolton Sixth Form College, The University of Bolton, Bolton One (Serco), The Fire Service, The Octagon Theatre, Bolton Wanderers Community Trust, Bolton Wanderers Football Club, Warburtons, B&Q, Park Cakes and Tyrers.
Councillor Elaine Sherrington, Bolton Council Cabinet Member for Schools and Safeguarding said: “We would like to thank the children for the work they have done and the support from the schools, staff and partners who have helped make these projects happen.
“The talks and insights into working life are really effective in helping young people shape their aspirations and career goals which can motivate them to work harder and focus on the areas they are truly interested in.”