Blue Skies is our flagship youth engagement programme; piloted in Lincoln in 2012 in partnership with Priory Witham Academy. The first programme provided 10 young people, who faced significant barriers to learning, with access to inspirational teams and individuals within the Royal Air Force, including the Red Arrows, The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and personnel at RAF Cranwell and RAF Waddington.
Six years on, Blue Skies now works intensively with over 200 young people per year from eight regions: Lincolnshire, Dorset, Norfolk, Yorkshire, North Wales, Oxfordshire, West Midlands and Hampshire. Our next region to launch will be Scotland in 2019. We currently work in partnership with 42 schools, 23 military partners (RAF, Navy, Army and MOD) and 22 civilian partners.
Blue Skies is an intensive, targeted, early intervention programme working with young people from the age of 10+ who are often underachieving or come from challenging backgrounds and may be at risk of falling out of education. We concentrate on raising their confidence and aspirations; providing life skills that support them to reengage with learning and to realise their full potential. Blue Skies is offered through two delivery routes: Blue Skies three-year syllabus and Blue Skies Inspire Packages. Based on the core values of Teamwork, Leadership and Inspiration, schools can choose between our flagship three-year syllabus and a bespoke series of sessions over a shorter time frame, depending on their specific learning objectives and the needs of the young people. Blue Skies is delivered in partnership with each school and supported by our military and civilian partners.
Blue Skies is about opportunities and vision: inspiring young people to believe in themselves, challenging them to set goals and equipping them with the skills and attitude to achieve them. The programme works with young people aged 12-16. Over three years we deliver a three level syllabus (10-15 sessions for each level) based on teamwork, leadership and employability skills. Outcomes include a significant increase in confidence and development of communication and teamwork skills. We equip young people with the foundational attitudes for success: self-belief, tenacity and trust. These skills enable the students to excel in public speaking, leadership and self-management. Our three year Blue Skies programme culminates in a work experience placement drawing on business and industry opportunities in each area and are tailored to the talents and interests of each young person.
Blue Skies is a long term and intensive programme, built on partnerships with inspirational people and organisations from the worlds of aviation and STEM to help young people be the best they can be. We have plans to develop the programme in more regions and expand the opportunities we offer young people within the areas where we already work.