Careers Education: Going above and beyond.
The Greenwood Academies Trust have placed an emphasis on raising the profile for careers & employability across the Trust. As a result of this shift in focus, the Enrichment team have created a programme that involves a career lead in each Academy from early years up to sixth form.
Sian Gresswell, Education Advisor for Careers and Employability is responsible for enhancing the careers and employability aspect past the statutory requirements. The Trust has a statutory obligation to deliver the Gatsby Benchmarks, which were adopted by the government in its Careers Strategy (December 2017). However, our aim is to go beyond that.
The eight Gatsby Benchmarks, as featured in the Good Career Guidance report (2013) are:
- A stable careers programme.
- Learning from career and labour market information.
- Addressing the needs of each pupil.
- Linking curriculum learning to careers.
- Encounters with employers and employees.
- Experiences of workplaces.
- Encounters with further and higher education.
- Personal guidance.
And our own key aims are to:
- Follow the statutory guidance.
- Challenge stereotypes.
- Raise aspirations.
- Broaden horizons.
- Make people aware of the pathways available to them.
- Increase self-confidence, positivity and key employability skills.
- Improve financial awareness
With 34 Academies across the Trust, we have to ensure a strategy for all our Academies is put in place. Each Academy is supported by the Trust and introduced to several different businesses and organisations that can provide them with insight on different programmes and initiatives around careers & employability. Our aim is to have a trained careers lead for each of our secondary Academies by the end of the next academic year.
Apprenticeships and other opportunities
We understand and respect that some of our pupils might not want to go the university route, so our range of programmes ensure they are also exposed to apprenticeship programmes.
We listen to the pupils to make sure we are giving them access to people who work in the areas that they are interested in. For example, more than 20 per cent of our students said they were interested in a career in sports, so we got the secondary schools in our Trust together and invited people from a range of different sports roles so that the students could see the range of jobs available.
Partnerships and Support
The Trust has partnered with DHL and Capital One amongst other influential businesses. Affiliating with these organisations allows us to offer insight into different roles and also use the expertise of their staff to help inform our young people. To get a well-rounded picture, we ensure we involve those staff members who went in as an apprentice as well as the university route.
Skills for employability and lifelong success
The Trust’s “Your Character Counts” initiative was launched last year and it forms a fundamental part of our careers strategy. We want all our students to have career management skills because we realise it is not just about knowing what you want to do – it is actually crucial to have the right skills to navigate a rapidly changing world. Confidence, independent research skills, team-work and collaboration are all vital.
Key research done on careers and employability education found that if young people have four memorable and meaningful interactions with employers before leaving school then they’re five times more likely to be successful in getting a job.
As a result of this work, our pupils have expressed their confidence and enhanced awareness regarding the world of careers & employability. Engaging with local business communities has allowed our pupils to set their compasses in the right direction so when they leave school they are on the right path, a path that is specifically tailored to them.
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