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MP encourages youngsters to take up confidence-building course



Wilmslow, Cheshire


A local MP who’s created an online career programme to help young people achieve their dreams is now inviting headteachers to sign up for free sessions.

Esther McVey’s charity If Chloe Can (ICC) works with young people aged 12-14 to help them develop the vital skills of confidence, assertiveness and resilience (CAR programme) as part of their PHSE and career studies. 

The course was quickly adapted to accommodate remote learning throughout the pandemic – and has now secured the backing of tech giant Zoom, ensuring as many children as possible can continue to access the course.

Ms McVey said: “Having started life as a Barnardo’s child myself, and ending up as a government cabinet minister, I believe anyone can achieve their goal given the right support, knowledge, and opportunities.

“This online course is the culmination of more than 15 years of work – both practical and academic – involving teachers, parents and thousands of pupils driven by a desire to promote social mobility and extend opportunities to all.”

She added: “I have had the chance to work with schools up and down the country, including Wilmslow High School, and it is so rewarding when I read the feedback and see how the girls feel they have grown over the course.”

Ms McVey started the project to help young girls but due to its success it has been adapted as a course for both boys and girls.

Teachers’ feedback showed the progress each child is making.



McVey continued: “I am delighted with feedback from staff who tell me they have seen the confidence and self-belief of their students grow.

“It is lovely hearing that the If Chloe Can course has been a highlight of the year for some of these students and how they have enjoyed learning from inspirational leaders.

“I too have seen the young people grow in confidence over the course and know they will keep going from strength to strength.”

The careers programme is a series of five one hour online workshops for children in years eight and nine.

The programme runs for five consecutive weeks with an online summer school at the end of the year, which is tailored to meet the needs of each class.

It’s led by professional trainers with a wealth of experience and includes role models from a diverse range of careers and backgrounds.

Young people taking part in the course are asked to rank how they feel at the start and at the end of the course in the three main areas of confidence, assertiveness, and resilience.

Ms McVey said this allows pupils to see individual improvement and also allows the ICC team to make any changes necessary to ensure the best outcome for people taking part. 



If Chloe Can

If Chloe Can started out in 2010 as a magazine for young girls featuring stories of successful women to inspire girls, and went on to be made into a play by the National Youth Theatre.

The charity was founded after its growing success and now works with schools to help career progression, planning, and personal goal setting through the Gatsby Benchmarks – which are based on international evidence of best practice about what works in career development in schools.

The charity is supported by over 200 role models who help the young people involved to achieve their dreams, with key involvement from inspirational women including Debbie Moore, founder of Pineapple Dance Studios and the first woman in the UK to set up a public limited company, and Jo Salter (Britain’s first female fast jet pilot).

Other industry-leading role models that have taken part in the charity’s career magazines and videos include businesswoman Deborah Meaden, chef and Masterchef judge Monica Galetti, Met commissioner Cressida Dick, and the vaccinologist behind the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine Professor Sarah Gilbert.




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July 2022
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