This is where FACEWORK can help. We have co-designed these resources with young people being taught in Alternative Education over the last 2 years and sought first to gain an empathetic understanding of the real work issues ‘Pushed –out learners’[1] encounter as they leave school.

Through in-depth workshops, we recognised early on that to really help students we needed to move the focus away from creating information about jobs (there are lots of online resources doing this) and instead focus on demystifying the ‘Employment Intelligences’ and attitudes employers say they want. We then worked with the students to find the language, real-world scenarios, to re-frame these into practical everyday doing, ‘ing’ words and attitudes which everyone has to master when they start work. To flip an earlier phrase, “Ask not what job an employer can give you, but what you precious skills and attitudes you can bring to an employer!”

When students told us it felt like winning the lottery if they got a job, we created the world’s first educational scratch card. When they said they didn’t want teachers to score their achievements we said, ok let’s create a peer-review “rate’s mates” score card and take students from one school to run sessions in another.   When students said they didn’t want yet another inspirational story of success from a far-off expert, we instead filmed them sharing their own authentic insights and tips about the world of work. Instead of worksheets we created Challenges, instead of banning social media we promoted these tools which can unlock curiosity and make these soft subjects “hard” and relevant.

Finally when students trusted us enough to share their personal stories of hardship, early set-backs or trauma, and asked us, had we ever been in trouble with the law? we sought to show them how could these negative experiences could be “flipped” and to show an employer the positive qualities of perseverance, loyalty, managing and overcoming very real challenges. Indeed the phrase ‘What makes you Sparkle like a diamond?’ is one of the key themes running through FACEWORK.


“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted, counts!”

Albert Einstein

We’ve got 25 individual Facework Challenge sheets which you can download for free, print off and use.  If you want to design an extended series of lessons on employability and go for an accreditation select this link which gives you the details of how these Challenges are cross referenced to the OCR ‘Life & Living’ and ‘ Employability’ qualifications

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