Welcoming Skill Up! to The Mix

We'd like to introduce the newest section of The Mix - Skill Up! - and explain the reasons behind creating this platform allowing young people to develop their personal skills.

Edward Emond
Advice and Training Manager
Skill up page

Our background in developing young people’s skills.

As a charity we believe that technology can be used for good, delivering creative solutions to the ever-changing challenges that young people face. Examples of this can be seen across our services, from resilience building through telephone counselling to the interpersonal skills developed through peer-support on our digital community. We have also been committed to developing tools that help young people stand out in a growingly competitive job market. Previously we have developed a CV building tool, Define Me, and are also continuing to look at the impact that digital badging has on young people’s ability to talk to employers.

Most recently, we have been working to develop the e-learning we have traditionally offered to volunteers so that it can be delivered to any young person accessing our services. Thanks to support from the Big Lottery’s Reaching Communities programme, we are delighted to launch Skill Up! – the place for young people to gain the skills they need to succeed.

Why are we doing this?

Young people coming to The Mix are looking for opportunities to take the next step in their lives. The number of applicants per job vacancy is still incredibly high, especially at an entry level, and so there is a need for young people to be able to differentiate themselves from their competition. We have established a number of e-learning courses to upskill our volunteers which has proved successful. However, until now, this opportunity hasn’t been extended to all young people accessing The Mix.

To enable this, we spent time consulting with current community members as well as volunteers who have taken our e-learning courses to understand what they want, both in terms of courses developed and the usability of our learning platform. It was clear that there was a desire amongst volunteers and community members to develop skills:

“I know for me, things like the anxiety and depression training has been useful in everyday life, although I assume it was initially produced for volunteers. They’re very informative!”

“Training has been very beneficial in learning skills for my volunteer role. Also some e-learning modules have helped me with my own life particularly when dealing with confrontation and conflict”

The Skill Up! page was the result of the desire from young people to have a single place where they could find out more about, and sign up for, the courses available. We have implemented a number of changes to our learning platform to ensure that the user journey is as straight forward as possible for young people accessing our courses. The importance of this journey can’t be underestimated, as 81% of those we consulted told us that this would be the most important factor as to whether they would engage with the content.

What can you find on Skill Up!?

We currently have four courses that people can sign up for, covering the following topics:

  • Problem-solving
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Brand You – a course that helps young people sell their skills
  • Anxiety and Depression awareness

Over time this will expand across a number of new topics. What really stood out during the consultation of young people was their desire to improve their understanding of challenging topics such as supporting people affected by: self-harm, bereavement and suicide.

Want to get involved?

Do you work with young people? If so, send them our way to Skill Up! We are always looking to develop new courses alongside experts in the field, and we also offer consultancy in developing bespoke e-learning courses for other organisations. If you are interested in talking further about this, drop us an email at training@themix.org.uk.

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Published on 16-Sep-2016