Young people today are growing up in a highly competitive environment and, when applying for jobs, it’s rare that a candidate is chosen just on the basis of their academic results. Employers are looking for more, to understand what candidates are like as people; do they work well as a team, show initiative and commit to a project? The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) is a fun and challenging personalised programme that enables anyone aged 14 – 24 to develop, and demonstrate at interview, work-ready attributes that employers are looking for in applicants, such as self-management, commitment, communication and team working.
To achieve a Bronze, Silver or Gold DofE Award you’ll work through four sections of your programme; Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition, with a fifth additional section, Residential, at Gold. You can choose to take part in a wide range of activities, from surfing, dance, website design and cooking to working with children, campaigning on local issues and fundraising for your favourite charity. Whilst doing your DofE you’ll experience new environments, gain confidence, meet inspiring people and discover talents and interests you didn’t know you had.
In fact, nearly a quarter of young people currently doing their DofE reported that their DofE programmes had given them inspiration for their future careers and 83% felt that the skills they’d gained would help them get a job. Here is what a few DofE Award holders had to say about their experience…
Sunil Ghadiali opted to do his Gold DofE Award as part of his apprenticeship with Amey: “Through completing my DofE I gained confidence, made new friends, it prepared me for work and it allows you to try something new. None of my friends had heard of it but I told them to seize the opportunity.”
Danai Osmond: “Through my DofE programmes, I have been introduced to new hobbies and outdoor activities, including canoeing, hiking and shooting. Before DofE, I had no notion to work in an outdoor environment but now I couldn’t see myself anywhere else. The DofE is important because it pushes you to endure challenges and learn new life skills but, ultimately, I’ve found that it rewards you with employment opportunity and career direction.”
Emmaline O’Toole: “I truly believe that my DofE Awards helped me gain a place at college and secure my job, where I prepare food in a local restaurant. Both my tutor and boss were impressed when they saw the DofE on my applications, with my boss only asking me about my Awards during my interview. The DofE is well respected and talking about your experience makes you more memorable to your interviewer.”