BEEP and ESF Logos

The Berkshire Education Employer Partnership (BEEP) is an employability programme that aligns young people and businesses in Berkshire. It encourages employers to create opportunities and nurture talent while developing employability skills in individuals.

BEEP is about creating opportunities, and as such it also delivers intensive support to young people who need it, helping to ensure they aren’t held back in life due to disadvantaged backgrounds, behavioural issues or lack of confidence.

Our BEEP Careers Advisers help to change the lives of these individuals, opening their eyes to opportunities for learning and work and helping them to gain confidence and agency over their futures. Their work is best understood through the stories of their clients.

“David” (name altered) was referred by his school to the Adviza BEEP programme in early 2022. He had ambition but lacked key social skills, especially online and within digital platforms. Over a period of six months, BEEP Careers Adviser Amy Elding supported David in areas such as Social Media Awareness, CV and application-writing, post-18 options, apprenticeships and job searching.

She also helped David use Adviza tools such as our FIS assessment to help tailor sessions to his requirements, a Buzz questionnaire to help him understand his strengths and career interests and a learning styles quiz, which helped him become more self-aware.

Over six months with the BEEP programme, David’s confidence grew so that he was able to manage much of his own research and communication when investigating opportunities for training, education or employment. He gained the confidence to follow up on opportunities, and an impact evaluation of his time with BEEP demonstrated a substantial improvement in his self-awareness, job searching skills and knowledge of qualifications and opportunities.
By the end of his time with BEEP, David gained opportunities to study Engineering at college and to participate in a Supported Internship.

David said: “(BEEP has) helped me become a more confident person when searching for employment and learning too. Previously I didn’t know what a supported internship is but now I know what it is and what it involves. Amy is an amazing person and she has helped me to the best of her ability to improve my confidence and knowledge about what opportunities are available for me.”

David’s Careers Lead said that after working with BEEP, pupils at risk of becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training) “have a clear plan and focus for their next steps...they now feel more confident over the exam period as they are not worrying about what the plan is for after Sixth Form.” She said, “Amy has shown empathy and support when they have wobbled and directed them back on track. All pupils attend regularly and find the sessions useful and valuable – they wouldn’t attend if they didn’t!”

BEEP and student groups

BEEP extends beyond one-to-one support and can be adapted for students who need intensive support – like the group of year 10 students Amy worked with at a Bracknell school after its Careers Lead approached us. He identified a group of ten students he felt could benefit from BEEP’s support to made effective decisions about post-school options. The students faced barriers such as mental health and learning difficulties.

After working with the lead to assess the needs of the group and define an appropriate support package, Amy set about building their motivation, aspiration, employability skills and readiness for life after school. Crucially, the students had a hand in creating their own action plan, choosing some of the topics they would study. These included post-16 Options, apprenticeships, developing employability skills (such as problem-solving, decision-making and communication skills), revision techniques and managing stress. Amy also incorporated the internet citizen programme which was enthusiastically received and proved the most influential part of the programme syllabus.

Six of the ten students who attended this BEEP programme have now fully mapped their route into learning or work when they leave school. The other four plan to apply for apprenticeships, and each is confident in their ability to do so.

Amy’s activities were inspired in their ability to reach the students and help them retain the lesson. A “spaghetti and marshmallow challenge” helped the group to develop team-building skills and recognise that employability skills aren’t as daunting as they sound. To better understand the impact and reach of their digital footprint and behaviour on social media, the students painted their fingers and threw a ball around – an exercise which greatly increased their awareness of what they post online and the potentially negative impact on employment when posting without care. The students also learned a lot by looking at real job vacancies and investigating salaries, skills and responsibilities within their preferred career options.

And if students required extra support, inspiration or motivation, Amy was able to provide it. As such, she helped at least one struggling student to stay the course who may not have otherwise done so. As Amy says, “intensive work has its ups and downs and is a cocktail of different things - exciting, challenging - but one of the best experiences I’ve had in my career so far. You know in some way you have had a positive impact on every single young person you encounter. Seeing the young people transform and then go out and achieve something makes everything worth it”.

This was a fantastic programme, with excellent work from Amy, that we’re proud to have delivered. Adviza would like to thank our partner schools in Berkshire for their outstanding and extensive support of the BEEP programme and for the way that local Careers Leads and teachers at those schools were able to integrate our programme with appropriate and sympathetic experiences and opportunities for the BEEP students. Our work with schools is all the more powerful when it is collaborative.

 

Learn more about BEEP.

 

Adviza currently has a number of vacancies available in our intensive project work, including BEEP. If you feel that you have the skills needed to support young people like David, please take a look at our opportunities.