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Education, business and academia come together to shape careers guidance

More than 150 people from the worlds of education, business and academia came together at Dame Allan’s School in Newcastle last week, to discuss ways of embedding careers guidance within the curriculum.

Over 20 schools and colleges, 40 employers and all five of the region’s universities were represented. We talked to two of the attendees – Marie Jobson from Churchill Community College and Catherine Boland from printed.com – to find out what happened.

Marie Jobson, Post-16 Co-ordinator at Churchill Community College, North Tyneside

My role is to be the careers lead at Churchill Community College and I attended the event with two of my colleagues who are both teaching staff. My aim was to build links with people who might be able to support the work experience offer for our students and also to come away with ideas to help us work towards the Gatsby Foundation’s Good Career Guidance Benchmarks.

I felt that I achieved both these aims and more; it was an awesome morning and I learnt so much. As a result of the event I came away with a really useful lesson plan to help students understand career options and how different jobs can be suited to people’s skills and personality types. We could never have come up with this resource without the input of the various people around the table who were from a range of sectors, with different skills and experience.

The lesson plan supports us in working towards at least three of the Good Career Guidance Benchmarks and I will be embedding this new resource into my work with our year 10s in the next few months.

The event was audacious in scale and the buzz was incredible. The fact that 150 people from universities, employers and schools all came together was amazing and really dynamic.

Claire BolandCatherine Boland, HR Manager at printed.com

I’m a National Careers Week Ambassador and I work closely with schools on a number of projects linked with the Career Benchmarks – for example, I’ve recently worked with Churchill Community College and some of their year 12 students, piloting a new way of creating meaningful work experience for young people.

I’m also an Enterprise Adviser as part of the North East LEP’s Enterprise Adviser programme, and am happy to discuss work experience with any schools, colleges or businesses looking to offer a programme.

We want to build a talent pipeline and tap into the workforce of the future, showcase our business to young people and also make sure that we provide a good experience when they are with us, including an understanding of all the different pathways into a career in printed.com.

Employers should be willing to support young people’s journey and transition from school into the workplace and there’s a business benefit including employee engagement in linking with schools and colleges. However, I know that lots of employers feel challenged when reaching out to schools and starting to build those relationships.

This was a brilliant event to build collaboration around how we can work together to support careers guidance in our schools and build on the good work that’s already being done through the Gatsby Benchmarks.

There was a lot of enthusiasm and talk of further collaboration and I will definitely attend similar events in the future.