14 students from All Hallows RC Business, Enterprise and Sports College, Salford, have graduated from the inaugural DWF 5 STAR Futures programme.
5 STAR Futures is an innovative self-leadership and aspirational development programme that aims to improve students' employability skills, boosting their chances of securing jobs.
Over 60 people attended the awards ceremony held at the Manchester office of business law firm DWF. At the event, Tyrone Jones, Head of Values and Corporate Responsibility at DWF, spoke passionately about the importance of values in business, and discussed DWF's approach to corporate responsibility.
Christopher Tye, Head of Year 10 at All Hallows, commented: "DWF has a great reputation in the community and a strong set of core values, similar to our own at All Hallows, and we were keen to be involved in the 5 STAR Futures programme.
"As a school, we are aware of the importance of connecting pupils with people in business and projects such as this are essential in raising the aspiration levels of young people.
"There have been many positive results from 5 STAR Futures, including improvements in attendance, punctuality and confidence within the cohort. I have been particularly struck by the confidence our pupils had when they gave their speeches at the awards ceremony and the passion in which they talked about their experiences with the DWF mentors."
The programme was launched in October 2012 for Year 10 students and over the course of the academic year, more than 40 lawyers and professionals from DWF took part in a number of interactive workshops. These sessions focused on workplace behaviours, aspiration, confidence, communication and resilience, all underpinned by a coaching and reflective learning methodology. The workshops have been designed to help students navigate the future world of work and enable their potential.
Simon Price, Associate at DWF and a member of the firm's Education Sector Group, developed and delivered the programme in partnership with schools and other educational institutions across the North West.
Simon commented: "5 STAR Futures is a programme which looks to build sustainable partnerships with the communities DWF operates in. We wanted to make a measureable difference to the students we worked with and their feedback has been wonderful. These young people are the leaders of tomorrow and based upon their development over the last ten months, I have no doubt of their success. The programme has had a dramatic impact on the students, helping them to improve their confidence, academic performance and attendance.
"Over 120 people in the firm have engaged with 5 STAR Futures, demonstrating the enthusiasm for the programme internally as well."
Due to its success, DWF intends to roll out the programme across its offices in the future.