National Interview Week (NIW) launches this week, a pioneering education and early career initiative that’s seen many of the UK’s biggest organisations pledge volunteer time to support the programme. In its inaugural year NIW has been created to build students’ interview confidence and connect them with mentors to enhance their personal development.

With recent statistics highlighting critical gaps in the career development of students across the UK, NIW has been conceived to empower students to overcome these barriers. Over the coming week the scheme will provide 5,000 free interview coaching sessions across England and Wales covered by 537 mentors. This equates to 10,000 hours of actual mentoring time, targeting students in Year 12 and above from state schools and colleges. The programme’s ultimate aim is to bridge the gap between education and career readiness, providing every student with an impact report based on the Skills Builder Partnership framework for listening, speaking and aiming high.

Companies signed up to provide mentoring include: the NHS, Amazon, Channel 4, Nationwide Building Society, Deloitte and the BBC.

Renowned entrepreneur and star of The Apprentice, Tim Campbell, is spearheading National Interview Week. Commenting on the initiative, he remarked, “I think there is a huge gap between education and employment, one that we should be doing as much as we possibly can to bridge. There should be a symbiotic relationship between both and I truly hope that National Interview Week will not only address this problem but will initiate a change in how both schools and employers work together to bridge the gap. I remember when I left school I had absolutely no interview practice and a scheme like this would’ve helped me tremendously!”

National Interview Week is a joint effort between YourGamePlan and their key partner Matrix, supported by Staffordshire University. YourGamePlan’s extensive reach in the education sector, offering accredited training to schools and colleges across the UK, complements Matrix’s own commitment to connecting people to work, which sees them heavily involved with their own supplier communities through additional volunteering, training and support. Together, they aim to equip students with the skills needed for a successful transition from education to independence.

Mark Inskip CEO at Matrix comments: “Empowering young minds with essential life skills is not just a noble endeavor; it’s a societal imperative. National Interview Week provides a platform to impart these skills on a monumental scale, bridging the gap for thousands of students. In a landscape where 38% of state-school students haven’t experienced career-related activities, and 37% of senior leaders lack adequate funding for comprehensive guidance, our commitment grows stronger. Furthermore, with 36% of secondary school students feeling uncertain about their educational journey, the need is evident. We also understand that an increase of £4,600 in annual earnings is directly linked to possessing these essential skills. Our partnership with this initiative and dedication through our social value strategy isn’t just about numbers; it’s about transforming futures and fostering confidence in every student.”

Tim Campbell is available for interviews w/c 26.02.24 – contact us to find out more.