Skillstree Awards 2016
"Skillstree is a local partnership between Basingstoke Consortium and business. It is designed to raise the skills and aspirations of local children and prepare them for working life. Businesses support Skillstree by providing positive role models to help deliver ‘employability’ activities which include: challenges, work experience, business talks, mentoring and much more."
"Allens Garage in Tadley treated me like an adult. They made sure I understood everything and that I was working in a safe environment. They advised me on what courses to do. They made me feel like a mechanic."
Student Comment
"AWE is proud to be Skillstree's platinum supporter for 2015 and to extend our support into 2016. We were also delighted to sponsor this year’s Student of the Year category. Through its work with Basingstoke Consortium AWE has developed a strong relationship with local schools and colleges, and been able to extend its reach to support more students and teachers. With a particular focus on programmes designed to raise the profile of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), AWE dedicates significant staff time to help young people learn about the practical business applications of these important subjects."
Philippa Kent,
Chair of AWE’s School Liaison Scheme

Lots of resources provided by local employers who want to share their knowledge and experience in order to help make young people “work ready”, including how to write a good CV and prepare for an interview.

Visit the skillszone
Skillstree success stories

Helping young people achieve – a profile

Helping young people reach their potential is a key focus for Basingstoke Consortium – and something that has been achieved with our 'Employability Programme'. Here we learn more about one young person's experience of the programme and see how it has made a real difference to his life. Not only did student Chris Dingley gain practical skills from the programme, but he so inspired the employer he worked with that he was nominated for and won Basingstoke Consortium's Student of the Year Award in 2012.

“When Chris came for his extended placement he showed an interest in all aspects of the project, he was keen to learn new skills and worked very hard. Chris stood out as an energetic character and we were not surprised when he asked if he could volunteer on Saturdays.  Since leaving school Chris has been volunteering practically every day and among many other things is now helping to support this year’s school placements."

Phelim O’Hagan, Manager of the Community Furniture Project

Chris Dingley from Everest Community Academy became part of Basingstoke Consortium’s Employability Programme in his final year at school – when he joined a small group of students to take part in sessions designed to maximise exposure to ‘real-life’: a chance to meet positive role models from business and learn practical skills to help them in the world of work.

In term one Chris and other students took part in a series of workshops focused on raising their appreciation, understanding and ability to meet basic employee competencies in self-management; team work; business and customer awareness; problem solving; communication and literacy; and application of numeracy. Students also took a British Safety Council Award in Hazard Awareness at Andover Fire Station, in readiness for their work experience.

"I've enjoyed myself so much, met so many nice people and enjoyed helping others along the way.  I feel confident and excited about my future and wish to thank everyone who made this possible, especially everyone at the Furniture Project who are brilliant."

Chris Dingley

The second term involved all students completing up to a twelve-week work experience programme, based on one day per week.

Chris was placed at the Community Furniture Project, Basingstoke, a charity that recycles good quality second-hand furniture, electrical goods and other household items to help local families in need.  Of the numerous students who worked at the Project, Chris stood out for several reasons.  He was hard-working and threw himself into whatever he did; he tackled any task with enthusiasm and did a great job every time. 

"Chris told us that he loves this kind of work and would like to make a career out of it, so we have now enrolled him in several of our training courses including our forklift training course and are helping him build up his CV which will hopefully lead to a paid position. Chris is a star.”

Phelim O’Hagan, Manager of the Community Furniture Project

During his placement Chris not only worked the compulsory Fridays, but also worked on Saturdays as a volunteer.  Chris was always first to arrive at 8.30 am and last to leave at 5.00 pm.  Chris’s placement ended in May 2012 but he continued to go to the Project as a volunteer. 

Since leaving school Chris has been there practically every day – working hard, helping people and bringing an energy to the Project that has now rubbed off on its older volunteers.

“The whole experience has helped Chris in so many ways he is so happy and confident and it has given him so many tools for his future working life, and life in general, and I would like to thank everyone involved."

Chris’s mother

Chris was awarded ‘Student of the Year’ in the Basingstoke Consortium’s Skillstree Awards, in November 2012.  The award was supported by AXA Wealth and presented to Chris by BBC South Today presenter, Allen Sinclair.

The Consortium’s Employability Programme continues to run this year. If you are interested in supporting the programme please contact Richard Dorney-Savage, CEO