Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend Countec Education and Business Partnership ‘s Investors in Education Awards at the Ramada Encore Hotel in Central Milton Keynes.
It was an event that celebrated employers that provide secondary school pupils with an opportunity to experience the work place and pupils that had been on a work placement and had a positive impact in the work place.
In the current climate where there is so much negative talk about young people, I was amazed at how many positive words and phrases employers had used to describe the young people that had been with them on work placements.
I found myself jotting some of them down as follows: Motivated; Enthusiastic; Consistent; Hard Working; Always Smiling; Grew in Confidence; Lovely Boy; Wanted to do Well; Steady & Reliable; ‘Can Do’ Attitude; a Delight; Upbeat; Polite; Perfect Attendance; Dealt with Issues ….. and the list goes on and on.
These employers are people who have had a direct experience of these young people, but somehow they see something different from the image of young people that is constantly portrayed in the media. I’m not denying the problems that do exist with young people, but I believe that the young people that were honoured at Wednesday’s event are more representative of the typical teenager than those portrayed in the media.
It makes me wonder what the typical young person trying to make the most of his/her life (who does not carry a weapon or belong to a gang) must think or feel about the image we are portraying of them.
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