Esther McVey created an online career programme aimed at helping young people achieve their dreams is inviting headteachers to sign up their schools for the free sessions.
The If Chloe Can charity (ICC) works with young people aged 12 to 14 to help them develop the vital skills teaches them vital skills of Confidence, Assertiveness and Resilience (CAR programme) as part of their PHSE and career studies.
Brainchild of the Tatton MP, the course was quickly changed to accommodate remote learning throughout the pandemic – and now secured the backing of techno giant Zoom, to ensure as many children as possible can continue to access the course.
Ms McVey said: “Having started life as a Barnardo’s child myself, and ending up as a government Cabinet Minister, I believe anyone can achieve their goal given the right support, knowledge, and opportunities.
“This online course is the culmination of more than 15 years of work, both practical and academic, involving teachers, parents, and thousands of pupils, driven by a desire to promote social mobility and extend opportunities to all.
“I have had the chance to work with schools up and down the country, including Wilmslow High School and it is so rewarding when I read the feedback and see how the girls feel they have grown over the course.”
Ms McVey started the project to help young girls but due to its success it has been adapted as a course for both boys and girls. Teachers’ feedback to Ms McVey showed progress each child is making.
Ms McVey said: “I am delighted with feedback from staff who tell me they have seen the confidence and self-belief of their students grow. It is lovely hearing that the If Chloe Can course has been a highlight of the year for some of these students and how they have enjoyed learning from inspirational leaders. I too have seen the young people grow in confidence over the course and know they will keep going from strength to strength.”
The Careers Programme is a series of five one hour online workshops for girls in year 8 and 9. The programme runs for five consecutive weeks with an online summer school at the end of the year, which is tailored to meet the needs of each class.
The programme is led by professional trainers with a wealth of experience and includes role models from a diverse range of careers and backgrounds.
Young people taking part in the course are asked to rank how they feel now and at the end of the course in the three main areas of confidence, assertiveness, and resilience.
Ms McVey said this allows not only pupils to see individual improvement but allows the ICC team to make any changes necessary to ensure the best outcome for people taking part.