Racing to School’s Work Programme supports over 1,800 pupils

A recently published independent evaluation of a year-long pilot of the charity’s Work Programme has endorsed the value of the scheme, which supported over 1,800 young people.

The purpose of the new Work Programme that started in October 2016, and which was generously supported by The Alborada Trust, is to involve the horseracing industry in the mandatory careers education in participating schools. Supported by partners within the sport, the scheme sets out to engage racing’s employers and employees directly with young people who are thinking actively about their careers. The Pilot targeted schools in areas where racing is well rooted and involved a range of activities in consultation with the teachers and their needs.

The programme delivered 30 sessions across 21 different schools. Careers talks, marketing and business challenges and racecourse-based activity days were all part of the new scheme, which is devised to offer first-hand insight into the opportunities and training routes into the industry. Improving knowledge about the sport and its careers options were key aims of the Programme. The Racing to School staff was supported by the Careers in Racing team and focused on explaining work experience and employment opportunities.

Evaluation included a comprehensive questionnaire and 10 detailed interviews to assess the value to pupils and schools and to consider recommendations for future delivery.

“The first set of results has been very encouraging and we are pleased that the schools have responded so well to the Programme,” said Racing to School Chief Executive, John Blake.

“The sport is working in many ways to improve recruitment, training and retention of its workforce and the charity’s objective through the Work Programme is inform young people about the type of opportunities that are being created locally and nationally through a sport that relies so much on collaborative working.

“We are so grateful to all those that have got involved and who see the value in the charity’s efforts to connect young people with what the industry offers, at a time when they are considering important choices in their lives.”

The feedback recorded 86% of participants questioned agreed that their knowledge of horseracing, had increased. Only slightly less (82%) reported an increased knowledge of related career opportunities. Overall, 92% of pupils rated their experience of the programme as either excellent or good, as did 100% of the teachers.

This encouraging feedback is echoed in the comments received from participants.

“After coming today, I know more about horseracing. There are lots of different opportunities and jobs to suit everyone. It looks like it would be fun and interesting to work in horseracing!” said one pupil. Teachers were also asked for their views. “There’s lots of different career opportunities in racing to suit pupils from all different backgrounds, interests and abilities.  Now I know more about it, I will definitely encourage some pupils to consider it.”

The feedback will be used for future planning of the Work Programme in 2018, which is hoped will involve a wide cross section of racing people giving their unique insights to young people.

Special thanks must again go to the Trustees of The Alborada Trust for their Grant in support of the Pilot and to colleagues at Careers In Racing.