On Tuesday 5th November, 16 employees came into school to participate in the Year 8 careers event titled “What’s my job”. St Thomas More Catholic School aims to provide students with a number of meaningful encounters with employers from industry. Employer interactions give students the opportunity to learn from people they wouldn’t ordinarily meet in their common surroundings.
The main objectives of the Year 8 event were to provide pupils with opportunities to learn more about different careers, and practice networking with people outside of the school setting. In doing this they were also developing their communications skills and learning more about the soft skills employers look for. Another key aim for this event was to dispel some of the myths concerning careers suitable for particular groups of people. We did this by ensuring we recruited a few employees who were in less conspicuous job roles. For example, we had a young female corporate banking advisor and a male nurse. Both roles that are typically stereotyped for the opposite gender. The full list of employee roles / the businesses they work for are listed below:
- Legal executive from Talbots Solicitors
- Schools liaison and events officer from Sandwell College
- Self-employed beauty business owner
- Personal trainer and owner of MA fitness
- Student paramedic with the ambulance service
- Carriage bodywork restorer/painter for Severn Valley Railway
- Corporate banking adviser at NatWest
- Careers advisor at Walsall College
- Owner of Tips2Toes nail boutique
- Male zumba Instructor from Nuffield gym
- Primary care quality assurance co-ordinator at Wolverhampton CCG
- Male nurse from the NHS
- Student nurse
- Self-employed driving instructor
Our business advisor Ian Gough (a corporate manager at Handelsbanken), and Vikki Haines (our enterprise coordinator from the Careers and Enterprise Company) also supported the event.
During the sessions students were split into small groups of 7 or 8. They each spent 5 minutes with an employee quizzing them about their role, responsibilities, qualifications and any other relevant aspects of their job. At the end of the 5 minute period students would use the acquired information to “guess their job”. This process was repeated 6 times so each group of students had the opportunity to meet at least 6 different employees.
Student participation and feedback has been extremely positive. Ben in year 8 is interested in becoming a lawyer when he’s older. He found the session extremely useful and has provided the following statement:
“I want to be a lawyer when I grow up. It was good for me to speak to someone as I thought you needed more qualifications to do the job. Having a conversation with a solicitor was good for me and has made me feel less worried about the studies involved”.Ben Year 8
In addition to positive student voice we were also highly commended by the visiting employees. Below are some statements taken from the employee’s feedback after the event.
“I enjoyed the engagement with students, and seeing them take something away from the session. It was a very organised event, and I look forward to coming back in the future.”Participating employee
“It was really good to speak directly to the students and find out what they thought they knew about my role and that there are still a lot of gender stereotypes about it.”Participating employee
Overall this event has been an invaluable encounter for our students. At St Thomas More we plan to build on the careers information, education and guidance students receive each year they are at school. By the end of Year 11 we want our students to be confident in making decisions about their future prospects. Knowledge is key and we endeavour to do all we can to support our students in acquiring this.
What can you do as a parent?
Do you want to be able to support your child even more and communicate with them about their next steps with confidence? Confused by the post 16 pathways? Want to learn more about apprenticeships? In today’s information led world sometimes the sheer amount of information available about Careers Education, Information and Guidance (CEIAG) can seem overwhelming. This can make it more difficult for parents and carers to provide their children the support and advice they need.
We have some useful tips on the careers information for parents section of the school website to support. I would also like to invite all parents and carers to complete a very short survey regarding Careers Education, Information and Guidance (CEIAG) which will enable us to provide the best support for you.
The survey can be located here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/M9SMDK2
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me directly.