CaptureVolunteers are needed to share their insights and experiences of work with pupils who are deciding on their future careers. The National Literacy Trust Hub in Middlesbrough is encouraging local businesses to bring groups of employees into a secondary school to help young people prepare for the world of work. 

The National Literacy Trust’s Words for Work programme is has been running successfully in Middlesbrough since July 2015 years and the next project in the town will be at Macmillan Academy on Stockton Rd. The programme focuses on demonstrating the importance of literacy for success in employment; improving young people’s communication and literacy skills and giving them confidence in their own abilities. After completing the programme, young people will be able to adapt their communication style to suit the workplace, ask questions to improve their knowledge, listen effectively and understand how to communicate clearly both verbally and on paper. 

No previous experience of teaching or working with young people is necessary as full training will be provided. All volunteers need is a genuine desire to work with young people and to be patient and flexible.

Earlier this year, Words for Work successfully ran in Middlesbrough’s Trinity Catholic College involving local volunteers from a finance company, an engineering firm and a housing association. One volunteer was so impressed with the pupils that he invited them to do work experience with his employer.  Claire Wilks, who works at Halifax UK instilled confidence in Year 9 pupil Emily Hemsworth, aged 14 to embark on a career as a lawyer. Emily said:

Before, I didn’t know what to say in an interview, or how to write a professional email, but I now understand what to expect and how I can give the best possible first impression. It’s given me a lot more confidence in what I think I can achieve and I feel excited about following my dream to become a lawyer.”  

The National Literacy Trust in Middlesbrough’s Hub Manager, Allison Potter said:

We’re delighted to be running the National Literacy Trust’s Words for Work programme in Middlesbrough again this year following its tremendous success last year. As the extremely positive feedback from Trinity Catholic College shows, it’s a fantastic experience for young people who are beginning to think about potential future careers to gain an insight into employment opportunities through volunteers who can pass on their valuable experience.

We need volunteers from different backgrounds who have experience in a range of roles and have demonstrated various skills in the workplace to share the insights which have shaped their own careers. They  will be richly rewarded through seeing young people’s skills and confidence grow  as they develop the skills they will need for their future careers.”

Six volunteers are needed to visit and work with 20 pupils in Year 9.  In a series of four workshops held on consecutive weeks of no more than two hours each, led by a teacher, volunteers will work with small groups of students undertaking a range of literacy activities including exploring formal and informal language, effective questioning, the impact of body language and effective presentation.

Workshops will run at the following dates and times.

1st volunteer workshop: Thursday 16 June, 9am-11am

2nd volunteer workshop: Thursday 23rd June, 9am-11am

3rd volunteer workshop:  Thursday 30th June, 9am-11am

4th volunteer workshop: Thursday 7th July, 9am-11am

To find out more, please contact Words for Work Project Manager, Lucy Kerrigan at

To express your interest in becoming a Words for Work volunteer in Middlesbrough please fill in this online contact form