According to research 1 in 4 UK jobs go unfilled this is caused by the widening skills crisis as up to 75% of school leavers lack essential job skills for the workplace or without fully considering their career options. At the same time schools have difficulty in delivering ‘real’ experience of the world of work, effective careers advice and raising aspirations. The absence of independent career advice and an uncertainty of career aspirations can bring detrimental economic disadvantages.


To address this issue, FESP, on behalf of Esh Group manage, coordinate and deliver Building My Skills in the Furness Area – a free yearlong employability programme – which provides students in years 9 and above with a rounded introduction to the world of work, imparting transferable skills through timetabled business engagement sessions.

“The programme is an excellent way to incorporate employer encounters into the curriculum as well as focusing on key employability skills through sessions with developed aims and outcomes that allow students to progress.”

 Leanne Johnston, Assistant Head teacher, King Edward VI School


  • Ensure each student experiences 5 different business sectors

  • Ensure each student meets 5 different employers

  • Offer over 1,200 students mock interviews 

  • 68% found the content of sessions valuable 

  • 74% agreed businesses provided high-quality advice

  • 70% agree they have an increased awareness of careers available

  • 50% are now considering a career in a different area

  • 80% agree BMS improves their employability skills and career prospects

We partner with schools for an academic year, working with an entire year group. All students receive 5 x 1 hour guidance sessions delivered by a different business guest who provides insight into their world of work, valuable employability skills, their career path and supports the completion of checkpoints – components of their ‘employability portfolio’.


Students who complete all checkpoints are offered a mock interview, in turn promising employment opportunities such as apprenticeships, work experience and site visits.

School participation increased in 2017/18 to 5 Secondary Schools and  9 Primary Schools in the Furness area.