WORK READY PORTFOLIO (WRP)
An evidenced based portfolio of a person’s soft skills. It has been developed with employers to help young people leave school better ready to understand the world of work s and having a better sense of what it means to be work ready and with the right attitude. It acknowledges the skills and talent that young people possess that they don’t see as being valuable to an employer. School more often than not focuses on the academic side of things and CVs sometimes don’t tell the whole story. The WRP however, focuses attention on the whole learner and helps young people see that they have many valuable skills and experiences employers are looking for.
The WRP has 12 different sections ranging from Health and Safety to Working as Part of a Team, involves obtaining a driver’s licence and education about drugs and the necessity of drug testing. Students evidence the various sections through answering questions, providing photos and jotting down bullet points about their experiences. The main idea is for students to see that everything they do has value and is all part of their life journey and entry into employment. As we know, learning takes many forms and the WRP acknowledges these, whether it be playing in a band or volunteering at the local SPCA; these experiences deliver wonderful learning opportunities.
Students can start gathering information for the WRP from any age, in fact, the earlier the better. If year 7 and 8 students can map out pathways and recognise the skills needed to fulfil their dreams, they can develop all facets of that employment sector while at school. Although students can submit their portfolio to be assessed, it is more a case of the journey being the destination and young people building awareness that being well rounded is very important to employers.
Young people working on the Portfolio are delighted to identify their strengths and aspirations, validate their volunteering and discover that what an employer is looking for is ‘who they are’ as much as ‘what they know’. It helps them identify where their gaps are so they can work towards filling these, thereby giving them a better chance of gaining employment.