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Engagement Methods at a Young Level


Half the battle with getting young people to fulfil their potential is encouraging them to recognise the benefits of the opportunities available to them. It can be incredibly difficult to impart information to someone who is unwilling or uninterested in learning, so it is important to overcome any barriers to the process as soon as possible in order to maximise the capacity for the individual to realise their potential.

For many young people, traditional methods of schooling do not appeal to their interests or their optimal way of learning, and this can mean that further education in the form of full-time courses can seem like a daunting prospect. However, in order to encourage those who could benefit from pursuing a course, the onus should be on the educational establishment to adapt their teaching styles and curriculum to suit those who may need more work to encourage engagement.

Part-time courses are one way of ensuring that students are not overwhelmed with the pressure of their studies, allowing enough down-time to process the information they are learning. Some may want or need to work part time around their studies, some have other commitments and others just prefer to learn at a slower and more relaxed pace. Many educational establishments are recognising the potential for increased engagement using part-time courses and offer flexible opportunities for students such as this one.

For some students, the things that they do when they are not studying are just as important to their engagement as the teaching methods and course structure in place when they are learning. Employers who wish to encourage their staff to engage with additional educational development can assist the process by providing them with opportunities to keep their studies up during their free time. Allowing access to resources such as revision sessions and opportunities to prepare for upcoming work can be invaluable and courses such as these can help students to feel well-prepared and confident about their prospects.

Research into the importance of adapting teaching styles in order to be effective for different types of learners has identified a number of different techniques which could help students and young people to make the most of the educational opportunities available to them. A broader understanding of the way people learn and the methods which can be used to improve the curriculum and course content to increase the appeal of education for those who would benefit from it most.

This is also true for employers who wish to improve the skills set of their staff members by offering them opportunities to further their education which will appeal to them and keep them motivated. Offering courses and training is only the first step on the road to enabling a workforce to develop their professional skills as it is also important to convey the benefits of additional education to those who might otherwise find it hard to get motivated.

Engagement can be approached on an emotional and mental level – inspiring young people to want to make the most of the chance to improve their skills, as well as understanding the benefits to their career prospects can help them to motivate themselves.  Many businesses are recognising the importance of employee engagement when it comes to keeping staff happy in their work and therefore performing to higher standards that can be expected from a workforce who are dissatisfied or despondent about their role.

The government has conducted research into the potential for engagement strategies to improve the prospects of both employers and employees, and they have some suggestions on how best to measure engagement, how to reach out to different groups of young people who may benefit from work experience, differentiated teaching styles, providing a variety of options for learning and offering vocational opportunities which can help to establish better engagement. More information on the initiatives proposed can be found here.

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