As employers bemoan the so called ‘snowflake’ generation, Moreton Hall School in Shropshire launches its Life Skills Programme: an initiative aimed at empowering young women and providing the skills to equip them in life.

The course is a year-long with successful completion resulting in the ‘Rylands Diploma’. It includes a diverse range of modules, one of which prepares students for the world of work. Linking closely with the Careers Department, this will assist students in deciding on further education courses and future careers.

An introductory workshop in the company of Executive Search and Senior Recruitment Specialist, Sarah Hopkins from Hopkins Longworth Executive Search, saw students ‘Creating Brand You’.

Working at the cutting edge of the graduate employment market, Sarah Hopkins explained that employers are now looking for more than just academic achievement from the generation branded as ‘snowflakes’. Employers face a huge turnover of staff and they believe new recruits lack resilience and other key transferable skills which will allow them to thrive in the workplaces of the future.

Her comments are supported by The Good Schools Guide who state: ‘Survey after survey shows employers complaining that despite the huge number of university leavers seeking work, many don’t quite measure up. Companies just aren’t finding enough savvy graduates who can make a difference from day one.’

So how do students counter this? Sarah recommended that Sixth Formers begin now, not only in undertaking voluntary work; engaging in extracurricular activities and pursuits such as debating, music, sport; developing a keen awareness of community and social responsibility and taking summer jobs, but also in recognising that the skill set developed in all of these areas is key to future success.

She continued that ‘The competitive landscape facing these youngsters means that the ability to illustrate confidently; talking and describing their experiences – is as important to develop alongside the traditional academic achievements’.

Sarah advised that students should make themselves CEO of their own career and track the journey, for example on a platform such as LinkedIn. She explained that a good profile should capture core values, show commitment, be broader than academic achievement and can be evidenced by photos. To illustrate the reality of this in the workplace, Sarah was joined by Miranda Jones a Graduate Rural Surveyor, with Savills. Sarah commented: ‘Miranda was able to provide some real insight into her recent experience of A Levels, University and her first year with Savills as she works towards her assessment of professional competence, with the Royal Institution of Chartered surveyors.’

Reflecting on the launch of Life Skills and ‘Brand You’ Moreton Hall Sixth Former Florence Tyne concluded:

‘Sarah Hopkins’s fascinating and interactive session definitely confirmed my dream of becoming a business person. The advice and guidance on how to brand yourself in your public image, was most illuminating. Who knew LinkedIn could be so influential?

‘It was a thoroughly informative and well delivered morning and we are all very grateful to Sarah and Miranda for their time and for launching our journey onto the Moreton Sixth Life Skills programme and the Rylands Diploma.’