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Flourishing lives

By 2030, all young people, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, will move into adulthood as confident lifelong learners, able to relate well to others, drive change for social good and making progress towards fulfilling lives in work, training or education

In Camden over the last few years, our young people have spoken loudly to the wider community and those in power, highlighting urgent priorities for change, such as the climate emergency and Black Lives Matter. This spirit of youth activism is one of our great strengths which the draft strategy will build on.

The pandemic has shown how quickly whole industries can change. Not only do our young people need the skills that employers want now, they also need the ability to be lifelong, agile learners. These skills and qualities are particularly developed in 16-plus education, where young people are preparing to go to university, training or work. The strategy highlights a need to improve the quality, breadth and take-up of post-16 education in Camden to meet the needs of every young person.

In Camden, we have unparalleled work opportunities in the private and the public sectors and we know that many of our public services, local employers and higher education providers are keen to bring their assets and expertise to bear in support of our young people. However, too few Camden young people are accessing apprenticeships (currently 1% compared with 4% across England) and we know our participation numbers and outcomes in vocational and technical courses need to improve.

A common concern raised by young people, parents and employers is the extent, quality and objectivity of the information, advice and guidance (IAG) offered in secondary schools and beyond. The strategy will focus on ways in which IAG can be improved across Camden, drawing particularly on the stronger skills and confidence in using digital technology developed during the pandemic. We also want to work with schools and young people to devise and pilot a Camden Life Futures Plan for every young person at 16+, who we think would benefit from a dialogue about their future plans which is recorded in a succinct and engaging way.

There are five development priorities for this ambition:

1. A generation of changemakers with impact in their communities

  • Work with schools, employers and community and voluntary organisations to stimulate ways of designing experiential opportunities for young people’s engagement in work, social action or volunteering, through STEAM and Think, Test and Learn.
  • Use research and local best practice to stimulate all schools to create opportunities for young people to work together on the concerns facing them and their communities.
  • Collaborate with the Youth Council and local youth groups to run initiatives designed to make change happen by developing young people’s local leadership skills.
  • Use Camden’s Climate Crisis Campaign as a focus for young people’s engagement and activism, including work on tackling air pollution and changing home to school travel.
  • 2. A post-16 education system that benefits all students - Develop a post-16 action plan and strategy which:

  • Establishes a new post-16 partnership to develop a coherent and more inclusive sixth form system for Camden.
  • Uses the partnership to rationalise provision and improve the non-A level offer.
  • Gives greater priority to developing technical and vocational education, including T Levels.
  • Develops links with Oxbridge and Russell Group universities, exploring a co-ordinated ‘Flying High’ boroughwide scheme.
  • Liaises effectively and urgently with Capital City College Group so that local Further Education provision is more closely aligned with the ambition set out in this strategy and better meets the changing needs of young people in Camden.
  • 3. Greater access for young people to education, work and opportunity

  • Link with employers, particularly through the STEAM initiative, to give young people work experience opportunities especially in local growth areas such as health and the digital, scientific and creative industries.
  • Increase the number of apprenticeships for young people, not only by stimulating greater interest from local business and public services but also by increasing awareness and understanding of the opportunities with staff in schools and with young people and their families.
  • Research the potential for establishing more innovative choice of pathways at 14-19 that would provide not only a balanced education but also greater exposure to the workplace and develop employability skills.
  • 4. Better information, advice and guidance to support learning and job choices which lead to economic opportunity

  • Share knowledge across the secondary sector of how some schools provide access to good information, advice and guidance at the right time.
  • Develop greater awareness in primary schools of the world of work and support initiatives through Think, Test and Learn.
  • Give every student in a Camden school the opportunity to have a mentor or support from a role model.
  • Work with schools, and draw on the expertise of Camden’s Connexions and Careers Service, STEAM and digital technology, to design a strategy that draws on recent experiences of digital technology to provide more extensive and high quality IAG for individuals.
  • Support young people to understand and have access to the career opportunities available in Camden’s thriving tech sector, and to develop the digital skills that will support a range of future careers.
  • 5. A ‘Life Futures Plan’ by for every young person at 16+ - work with schools, other providers and young people themselves to develop, pilot and roll out a format and process for developing a ‘Life Futures Plan’ for every young person by age 16.

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