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- workshop training to develop critical personal skills -

The Confidence, Assertiveness & Resilience (C.A.R.) programme is a series of workshops devised specifically for girls in Years 8 & 9, to help develop the crucial personal skills of Confidence, Assertiveness & Resilience.  As a charity, with a background of working successfully with schools since our inception in 2013, we believe it is important to offer such an initiative at a time when the challenges before young women have never seemed so great. Equally important, this is a foundation programme to help prepare for careers progression through the Gatsby Benchmarks; through it we intend to make girls “Gatsby- ready”.

The Foundation Programme offers three in-school, two-hour interactive workshops during a single term followed by a half day Saturday conference, concentrates on building Resilience and developing the skills of Confidence & Assertiveness which underpin this, focuses on Gatsby 3, 5 & 7 – individual student needs, encounters with both the world of work & tertiary education.


Our workshops are led by professional trainers with a wealth of experience and real-life role-models from a wide range of careers and backgrounds. 


We work closely with a limited number of partner schools across an academic year, with pre-agreed methods of working, reporting and evaluation. We offer this programme to participating schools free of charge. 


Importance of C.A.R.

Lord Sainsbury of Turville’s foreword to the Gatsby report begins with:

“Very few people would disagree that good career guidance is critical if young people are to raise their aspirations and capitalise on the opportunities available to them.”


And yes, very few people would disagree.


However, not all pupils are able to embrace good career guidance if they are not in the frame of mind to do so. The unconfident pupil whose self-esteem is low and finds it difficult to communicate effectively with others will be much less likely to reap the benefits from a careers programme such as Gatsby. And it can be argued that many pupils are not ready to undertake the Gatsby programme because of the communication difficulties holding them back, especially now when the challenges before girls have never seemed so great.

This is where the C.A.R. programme is able to help. It focusses on developing Resilience and those underpinning skills of Confidence and Assertiveness. Over three workshops and a half day conference, girls from Years 8 and 9 participate in interactive, fun and thought provoking lessons to provide them with a greater insight into how they communicate and how to develop their communication skills further. The girls will have the opportunity to work in groups and to self-evaluate their skills.

At the end of the C.A.R. programme we envisage that each girl will have grown in confidence leading to higher or more achievable career aspirations. They will better benefit from their schools’ own Gatsby driven careers initiatives.

Benefits of the C.A.R. Programme

This is a preparation for the school’s own Gatsby driven careers initiatives. It is designed to help delegates who have clear aptitudes, but who are not currently achieving their potential due to barriers arising from low Confidence, Assertiveness and Resilience.


It consists of 3 x 2 hour in school workshops, plus a Saturday morning event with refreshments, held at a convenient location for several participating schools.


We start with a concept which students will recognise: Confidence (being secure in yourself and your abilities). We then consider a second skill, Assertiveness (being self-assured, without being aggressive).


Finally, we help participants focus on Resilience:


  • the skills of learning from failure or setbacks and finding new ways to solve problems;

  • the need to feel good about yourself in order to be resilient; and,

  • the ability to bound back up when facing a setback.


We encourage delegates to add their own definitions and then discuss how Resilience is underpinned by the twin skills of Confidence and Assertiveness. We embed these ideas through lively and compelling exercises, allowing students to practise these in a supportive and enjoyable environment.


Participants are then encouraged to analyse what went on during the tasks and recognise confident and assertive behaviours.


We illustrate how confident people behave calmly because they have no doubts about their ability or knowledge. Assertive people stand up for their own and others’ rights in a calm and positive way, without being either aggressive, or passive towards others’ behaviours.


At the Saturday event, delegates will be able to practise their enhanced skills when they meet C.A.R. programme participants from other schools and benefit from contact with guest speakers who will talk about career decisions and opportunities.


This will enable students to fully engage later in their own school’s Gatsby programme now with the benefits of improved C.A.R. skills, increased information and having started to plan their own career development.

The Gatsby Benchmarks

The Gatsby Career Benchmarks are the result of an international study to find the best practice in Career Guidance worldwide.


Working with experts from the University of Derby, the Gatsby team visited six places, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Ireland, Hong Kong and Ontario – where career guidance is known to be good.

The eight benchmarks are a framework for good career guidance developed to support schools in providing students with the best possible careers education, information, advice and guidance.

  1. A stable careers programme

  2. Learning from career and labour market information

  3. Addressing the needs of each pupil

  4. Linking curriculum learning to careers

  5. Encounters with employers and employees

  6. Experiences of work places

  7. Encounters with Further and Higher education

  8. Personal Guidance

Read more here:


Careers guidance and access for education and training providers. Statutory guidance for governing bodies, school leaders and school staff:

Careers strategy: making the most of everyone’s skills and talents:

The Quality in Careers Standard:


Career Development Institute. Framework for careers, employability and enterprise education 7-19:

Sign up your school for C.A.R!

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