The past two years have been a rollercoaster for many of us, but they have been particularly damaging to the education and career prospects for many of the world’s young people. ONS statistics in 2021 stated that over 60% of job losses since the pandemic were attributed to young people. At Azure, we have enjoyed working closely with the University of Huddersfield, who received funding from Santander, to create a bespoke programme for some of their recent graduates and individuals on the government Kickstart programme for 16–24-year-olds.
‘Coaching Skills for Future Success’ focused on delivering hugely transferrable skills in coaching, identifying career paths and employment, communication, listening, and relationship building. This is something that, at Azure, we feel very strongly about – instilling long-lasting knowledge and giving young people the best start to their career.
This ILM endorsed four-week programme involved six sessions with topics including ‘what is coaching’, and ‘why is it so vital in the modern workplace?’, ‘developing the core skills of coaching’, and ‘looking at ways to embed coaching’. Whilst one of the key objectives was to teach the participants about what coaching is and its importance, another objective was to help them find the confidence to apply these skills in practice. This is another key impact from the pandemic, with the Prince’s Trust reporting in November 2021 that over half of young agree they have “lost confidence in themselves” as a result of the pandemic, with 44% agreeing that they don’t know how they will get their life “back on track”.
Over the years, we have worked with many organisations, coaching their leaders to be more successful and really impact their organisation’s performance. We also train coaches and help individuals to develop their coaching skills. Research from the ICF (2020) points out that there was a 33% increase of coaches between 2015-2019 alone. Teaching young people coaching skills and showing them how vast their applicability to different situations is seemed like a great idea to us at Azure and the University of Huddersfield.
And so did the participants:
- “I can already feel the impact of the coaching programme in everyday conversations, in the workplace, and in online meetings, and am excited to explore coaching more to further work on my general communication skills…If I heard this programme was running again, I would 100% recommend this to a friend!”
- I have enjoyed many things about the coaching skills programme. I have been able to develop my skills and work on topics that I wanted. I felt like I was able to gain knowledge about the programme and then also practice the skills with others on the course, Overall, a fantastic experience.
- “The coaching programme was well structured, giving us an in depth understanding of the benefits and applications of coaching; coaching demonstrations to solidify our knowledge of what makes a good coach; and lots of opportunities to practice our own coaching skills in a safe environment”
The feedback demonstrates that the programme was very inspiring and helpful to the students and Kickstart programme participants. If you believe coaching is something you would like to introduce, or improve, within your organisation, then get in touch. We would love to have a chat with you.