Sixth formers gain employability skills with Ministry of Justice

Bradford College students Iman Sharif, Maria Khan and Tahreem Ahmad worked with the Ministry of Justice with the EY Foundation

Three Bradford College students are celebrating after ‘graduating’ from a Ministry of Justice social mobility programme.

Tahreem Ahmad, Maria Khan and Iman Sharif, who are studying Economics and Business at Bradford College Sixth Form, are among a dozen young people from Bradford who have been involved in the project.

The 10-month Smart Futures programme is run by the Ministry of Justice with the charity EY Foundation and support from Bradford Council. It aims to give young people facing barriers to employment paid work experience, workplace skills and mentor support to help them fulfil their potential and get a job they want.

As well as Bradford College, students participating in the programme came from Titus Salt School, St Benedict’s Catholic College, Belle Vue Girls’ Academy, St Bede’s and St Joseph’s Catholic College. The programme gave them a taste of the range of work that goes on in the Ministry.  The students were given real projects and were treated as members of staff during that time.

Shaun McNally CBE, the Ministry of Justice’s Social Mobility Champion, said: “We want the most talented people working for us whatever their background and this partnership with the EY Foundation is helping us to do just that. It’s also important that we have staff with different perspectives and experiences as the justice system touches on the lives of people from all walks of life.”

The EY Foundation, which is overseeing the programme, already successfully runs Smart Futures in 15 towns and cities across the UK. Set up in 2014, the Foundation’s programmes have supported nearly 3,000 thousand young people across the UK so far.

Jodie McNally, who runs EY Foundation’s programmes in the North said: “The Foundation aims to make more young people in the region employable by collaborating with local businesses to reduce barriers to work through programmes like Smart Futures. We believe every employer regardless of their size or sector plays a vital role in giving young people a good start to their working lives, so we’re proud to work with the Ministry of Justice.”

All the young people who completed the programme achieved an adult management qualification from the Chartered Management Institute. Seventy percent of those who complete the programme say they feel more confident about finding a job after the programme, while 53% said they met with at least three employers or employees during the course. In addition, 69 % said the programme helped them decide what they wanted to do next.

   Tahreem Ahmad receives a certificate from the Chartered Management Institute 

   Iman Sharif accepts the Chartered Management Institute qualification secured by completing the course

   Maria Khan achieved an adult management qualification from the Chartered Management Institute