LISTEN: John May discusses the Award with Alberto Lidji

Published: 29 May 2019


Our Secretary General, John May, joins Alberto Lidji to discuss international growth, non-formal education and the 1.3 million global participants who are currently doing their Award.

In an interview with 'Do One Better' podcast host, Alberto Lidji, John May quick shares his belief that what happens in the classroom is only half the story and argues that the Award provides young people with many of the things employers are looking for: resilience, communication skills, the ability to plan and to commit to things. 

Listen to the full episode here: 

John explains how the Award recognises and celebrates young people’s achievements in areas that are not necessarily included in the school curriculum. Through trying new things, their horizons are broadened, perspectives changed and new opportunities seized.

On the topic of employability, John notes that while employers want technical competence from ‘first jobbers’, the reality is that most of all they want someone who’s ready to enter the job market and understand what being employed is all about. Communication skills, empathy, sticking with something – grit, resilience – and an ability to operate comfortably intergenerationally are key.

The Award offers the opportunity to practice and improve these types of skills through the different sections. Volunteering, for example, may bring a participant into close contact with the elderly or the very young. This type of non-formal education, therefore, helps young people learn how to communicate effectively in ways that are often lacking in formal education.