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Why use MEBP?

MEBP has been active in Medway for over 27 years now, and in this time we have built up an impressive system of support for schools and colleges, to assist in the delivery of employer engagement in all its forms, through the development of a sustainable business network covering all employment sectors.

We maintain a database of around 3,000 active employers, ensuring that they have all necessary measures in place to engage with students safely and productively, whether it’s to support the curriculum, skills, employability or personal development.

The value of working with MEBP to arrange your school’s employer engagement:

  • contact with employers beyond the time and capacity available in most schools and colleges
  • Health and Safety and Safeguarding approved assessments in place for all employers
  • a wide range of tried and tested, innovative employer engagement activities
  • quality delivery and evaluation
  • impact measurement to support Ofsted
  • sponsorship from the business sector, local and national funders
  • local and national reach to inspire students and young people

You can see further details below and in our Projects and Programmes section. If you don’t see the specific support you’re looking for get in touch with the team; we’re here to help.

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Work Experience Placements

Work experience is arguably the most valuable employer engagement activity a student will participate in. Many schools see work experience as a vital component of any young person’s development towards employability. In the rapidly changing technological world we live in, young people cannot gain the vital employability skills they need without practical experience of the workplace; as the DfE puts it,

“Work experience is key to bridging the gap between education and the world of work. At its broadest and best, work experience can open young people’s eyes to jobs they have never thought of, help inform career decisions, offer a chance to prove themselves to an employer and help instil the attitudes and behaviours expected at work”.

MEBP has been providing a comprehensive work experience service to schools and businesses for over 25 years. We ensure that every employer is briefed and Health and Safety checked, has an approved job description and risk assessment, and commits to providing relevant supervision for the students. Preparation in school encompasses health and safety, employers’ expectations and how to use the Work Experience Log Book, which enables both student and school to focus on the developmental aspects of the placement, and provides a written log and assessment of each student’s work.

Contact us for full details of our service, and how schools can access it.

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Extended Placements in the Workplace

Extended placements in the workplace, usually one day a week, have transformed the prospects of many young people. In recent years we have specialised in supporting the growing number of ‘harder to help’ youngsters who are in danger of dropping out of school, by gradually developing their skills and confidence to re-engage with education, or begin work with training. Some of the host companies eventually take them on, as they have been instrumental in preparing them for work, and have come to realise their potential.

We provide placements for students with special educational needs, ensuring that employers understand their individual issues and requirements.

Since the raising of the participation age, we have also developed placements to support Traineeships and Study Programmes, and are now offering BTEC WorkSkills courses – see below

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Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths Support

MEBP manages a range of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) projects and initiatives for schools and employers in Kent and Medway, for children and young people between the ages of 4 and 19 years.

It is widely recognised that more young people need to take up careers in STEM related subjects if the country is to flourish in the future, for example, it is forecast that we need to recruit 45,000 more professionals to the construction industry each year, to keep pace with the sector’s needs.

Involving children and young people in STEM related activities raises their awareness and interest in related careers, as well as improving their employability skills.

We work with a host of different professionals and institutions, to demonstrate the importance of engineering in all of our lives, to show young people the breadth of career opportunities available to them and to bring context and excitement to the STEM curriculum.

Our activities and workshops are suitable for students of all ages, and can be run as standalone enhancement or incorporated into year-on-year curriculum development programmes.

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Medway Mentoring

Our mentoring scheme began in Medway over twenty years ago; more recently we have offered the service to Kent schools too.

Mentoring provides children with extra support and encouragement at one of a number of challenging times in school life. Many young people benefit from having someone other than a parent or teacher to talk to. Over the years, hundreds of children in Medway have benefited from having a mentor. Many have reported life changing results.

Mentors come from the business and wider community, from any background, of all ages and abilities. They are not necessarily a parent, social worker or teacher. A mentor is simply someone who has had experience of life and work and can therefore talk to the student about these areas, as well as listen to their worries and concerns in a more general way.

Mentors undertake initial and ongoing training as well as providing references and undertaking DBS checks. They usually meet with their mentee once a fortnight during term time and the initial commitment is for an academic year. Many mentors stay on with the same mentee, or with new ones, year after year, becoming an invaluable member of the school community.

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NEET Prevention Support

Good To Go is a five year Big Lottery funded project to support young people who are in danger of becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) or are already NEET, with much success.

Each young person is offered a bespoke programme of support, which can include one or all of our activities, to prepare them to take up an extended placement in the workplace, where the majority of them turn their lives around, with the support of our wonderful business partners. Our main criterion for success is that they move into a positive destination (committing to the school sixth form, going to college or into work with training) and are still in a positive destination one full year later.

The project is now in its final year, and we are extending the offer to students across the county, under its new heading the MEBP Employability Development Programme.

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Careers Awareness-Raising Events

We arrange a variety of one day events, to raise young people’s awareness and interest in careers, particularly in the areas where there are the biggest skills gaps. A variety of employers work with students on interactive workshops, challenges and games to demonstrate the range of opportunities open to them. Some interschool challenges are followed by county final events at Kent business events.

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CV Writing and Interview Skills Development

The mock interview programme provides a wealth of employability skills development. MEBP’s programme, which takes place in school, allows students to go through the process of applying and interviewing for a job of their choice, from a range of real vacancy advertisements, providing each with:

  • CV and application writing practice
  • the opportunity to meet professionals in a business-like setting
  • the opportunity to improve their employability skills in an environment as close to a real interview as possible
  • a real sense of what the selection process is like
  • feedback from the employers in a written report, which provides evidence and advice for progression
  • raised confidence in preparation for the real thing

The programme embellishes students’ awareness of employers’ expectations of them at an interview, so increasing their key employability skills; those skills many employers tell us are often lacking in the young people who join them as employees from school, college or university.

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Personal Development Programmes

Good Foundations is a short interactive course that helps equip young people with the self-awareness, confidence and skills they need to enter and succeed in the workplace. The course is usually delivered in school by trained MEBP staff, and supported by local employers.

The progressive workshops aim to build greater self-knowledge, improve self-esteem and motivation, and develop coping strategies for interviews before work experience or entry to the workplace.

The self-contained course is usually spread over two days, sometimes over three mornings for children who may have difficulty concentrating for the whole day (always in the same week) and can be followed by a team building trip.

The activity is pitched to suit the ability of the students involved, from harder to help disenfranchised young people to those who just need some extra support. Schools and MEBP use the sessions to help identify further individual employer support requirements.

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Enterprise Skills Development

Enterprise skills are effectively a set of competencies, including commercial awareness, creativity and communication skills. They are closely linked to the wider employability skills set that includes management skills, the ability to work as part of a team and independently, to be able to plan, co-ordinate and organise, to be able to take responsibility and make decisions, and to be financially literate, punctual, personable and reliable.

Employers constantly berate the lack of these skills in the young people they take on, however accomplished they may be academically.

We have developed a range of enterprise skills development activities and projects that support schools, both primary and secondary.

We aim to ensure that all young people leave school with the interests, attitude and skills to make their way in the very fast paced world of work of the future.

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Pearson BTEC WorkSkills Qualifications Centre

WorkSkills are BTEC qualifications that can be slotted in and around other courses to accredit skills already being taught. The WorkSkills suite contains a variety of units and a range of qualifications, which we will be offering at Entry Level 3, Level 1 or Level 2, allowing schools to build bespoke courses to suit individual students’ developmental needs.

Extended work placements with employers will form an integral element of the courses, so that each student gains their qualification in an area of vocational choice.

MEBP will deliver the guided learning hours in school or at our centre, to fit in with schools’ timetables as far as possible.

BTEC WorkSkills units on offer include literacy for the workplace, numeracy for the workplace, producing a CV, searching for a job, preparing for an interview, self-management skills, career progression, conduct at work, healthy lifestyles, personal and social relationships, self-assessment, skills and qualities for employability.

We believe that these qualifications offer schools the means to develop students’ progress to employability within the new curriculum, both pre and post 16.

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British Safety Council Level 1 Award - Health and Safety in the Workplace

The Level 1 Award is aimed at those new to the workplace and provides basic knowledge and understanding of health and safety. Accredited by Ofqual in the Qualifications and Credit Framework, the qualification is designed as a half day course that we deliver in school with support from local employers, as excellent preparation for work experience or extended placements in industry.

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