You hear it a lot don’t you? “School leavers today” the lament begins, “they’re great at passing exams but they’re less employable than they used to be” it goes on. It’s normally followed by the increasingly familiar “exams are so much easier these days aren’t they?”!

I can’t help but feel sorry for our current crop of 16 & 18 year olds. That our schools are better than ever at producing A* pupils really isn’t their fault and, if I cast my mind back to when I left 6th form (I won’t tell you the year!) was I any more employable? I remember being interviewed for a role as a Trainee Manager at House of Frasier having done little in the way of research. In my defence there wasn’t any internet and ‘research’ would have meant a trip to Central Library and it was raining (probably!) – and I was offered the job!

As part of SimkissGuy’s commitment to supporting college leavers I attended Windsor School’s impressive 6th form in Halesowen. The ‘Business Studies’ team have fabulous facilities, they actually hire out their classrooms as conference facilities to local business, and, the students wear business attire for their lessons!

Anyway, I rather nervously agreed to lead a CV workshop. I arrived in good time to collect my thoughts and go through my preparation one more time. I did my level best to put all the bad publicity that school leavers get to the back of my mind – you know the sort of thing – that they’re disruptive, badly behaved, even aggressive & violent! I needn’t have worried! The students I met were engaged, intelligent and genuinely eager to learn and, if they left my workshop with a greater sense of optimism for the future, then they’re not on their own! We have a great resource on our hands and I, with some likeminded peers, will be doing our level best to give school and college leavers the tools they need to make their contribution to our collective future!

Feeling inspired? Why not contact me about the “Dragon’s Den” programme which is currently being rolled out across the city and the next event I’m assisting with?

Last question: Why are they still called ‘6th Forms’ when year 6 kids are now 11 years old??