Nine Elms career boost for Wandsworth schools

Published: 9 December 2013

Wandsworth’s school and college students are now benefitting from a unique programme of work experience and employability training linked to the regeneration of Nine Elms, east Battersea.

The Education Links programme uses this extraordinary development area as an inspiration to local young people and a valuable learning resource. It shows students how they can access a range of future job opportunities in the construction and development industries.

The scheme is designed and managed by Wandsworth Council and delivered through landowners, developers, consultants and contractors involved in the Nine Elms revival.

To date it covers the construction, engineering, design, business, architecture and sales industries.

So far more than 150 young people from Wandsworth schools aged between 11 and 19 have been involved and the number is set to grow as the area-wide development continues over the next decade.

Organisations taking part include St James, Battersea Power Station Development Company, Ballymore, Carillion and Sir Robert McAlpine.

The schools involved include Battersea Park, Ernest Bevin, Graveney, Chestnut Grove, Southfields Community College, Saint Cecilia’s, Burntwood and St John Bosco.

The initiative works alongside the council’s Work Match service which concentrates on securing Nine Elms training and job opportunities for unemployed local people.

Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council, said:

“The Education Links initiative creates clear connections between Wandsworth students and the incredibly valuable and diverse jobs market being created in Nine Elms.  Tens of thousands of opportunities are coming to the area and our young people are ideally placed to benefit.

“Delivered in partnership with Nine Elms landowners, developers, consultants and contractors, it bridges the gap between education and the workplace and teaches our students the skills employers want from school, college and university leavers.

“Through a variety of curriculum based activities, students develop skills and workplace experience to complement mainstream learning. It is designed to enhance their CVs, inspire interest in different career possibilities and raise aspirations. It can give them a genuine edge in the jobs market.”

The programme is delivered by working professionals and includes:

  • industry focussed research projects linked to the curriculum
  • an internship programme for sixth form students
  • work experience placements
  • work tasters sessions
  • skills workshops and employability training
  • student visits and professionals visiting schools

Students can graduate to full traineeships, apprenticeships and starter jobs with the companies involved.

Wandsworth schools who want to get involved with the programme should contact Ellie Boorer, or Noel Tierney,  at Wandsworth Council’s Children’s Services Department.

PICTURE: Cllr Govindia hosts an employment skills workshop with Wandsworth students Meti Olani, Sandra Nambo and Umer Ali.


Notes to Editors

The programme in more detail:

Student Visits

Students are taken to visit construction sites and company offices to meet professionals at work. The main aim is to raise awareness of the diversity and prospects in the construction/development sectors including different routes into work like apprenticeships, traineeships and graduate roles. They are introduced to core tasks and responsibilities as well as pay levels and working routines.


Students take part in group workshops which supports a specific curriculum area and is linked to a range of career options. The aim is to inspire interest, support attainment and achievement as well as refine career choices.  Workshops can also take place in school and also support core employability skills like CV writing and interview practice.

Work Experience and Work Tasters

Work experience placements (5-10 days) and work tasters placements (1-3 days) are provided for students aged 14-19.  Students gain exposure to a live working environment and a structured introduction to the main work activities involved in the role they are shadowing. Young people can develop practical skills and competencies needed in the work place and successful completion can be added to their CVs and employer references provided.

Internship Programme

Programme for sixth form students from low-income families which includes a half-day Personal Development Seminar, held on employers’ premises, includes one-to-one interviews, work protocol and recruitment process. Employers also offer specialised 5-10 day placements.  Successful completion can be added to CVs and employer references provided.

Research Projects

Students complete a detailed piece of curriculum linked work over an extended period. This can help to prepare students for specific career and further education choices.

Wandsworth Endeavour

This specialist scheme is focussed on students on the edge of education. Through intensive mentoring, support and work experience they are able to build their confidence and gain a recognised accreditation award for their CVs. The focus is on meeting role models who can raise aspirations and support their path back into school or work.


Students can apply for a range of apprenticeships including construction roles, business administration, customer service, engineering and IT.


Offers work experience for 8 weeks to 16-24 year olds who are not in employment, education or training and provide an exit interview which can lead to a permanent role. This programme prepares young people for the work place, builds confidence and self esteem.