Over the recent weeks and months, our students have been able to gain valuable careers knowledge via virtual opportunities coordinated by our Futures Team. In particular, National Apprenticeship Week in February, and National Careers Week which followed in March, have been great opportunities for our students to explore a wide variety of pathways for life after Birkenhead School.
This term the Futures Team have been promoting careers activities and have taken advantage of the range of online resources available to showcase to students. While students were away from the School site they were able to explore the wider world of work and Higher Education and kept informed of the latest opportunities.
This term, the Futures Team have been promoting careers activities and have taken advantage of the range of online resources available to showcase to students. While students were away from the School site they were able to explore the wider world of work and Higher Education and kept informed of the latest opportunities.
National Apprenticeship Week in February offered a chance for students and parents to find out more about the growing range of apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships on offer. Apprenticeships are becoming a competitive alternative to university for students who are keen to explore the options of having their course paid for by employers and being given a wage, studying for a valued qualification, gaining important work experience skills, and often being offered a job at the end of the course.
Our current students were invited to speak to some of our recent leavers who have gone on to study apprenticeships. Via an online forum, students met 2020 leavers Mairead Anderson, who is currently a Digital Marketing Degree Apprentice at the BBC, Austin Dalby, who is studying for a BSc in Construction Management at Redrow, and George McCann, who is studying Accountancy at Bertram Burrows.
The group discussed the application process and what the students can expect, the differences between apprenticeships and university, and how much they are enjoying working, meeting new people and earning a wage. Mairead said, “It’s definitely a big step to leave school and go into a working environment where you are completely self-reliant, but it’s also very rewarding and a great option for anyone looking to gain valuable experience and a change from full-time education.” Austin added, “I chose an apprenticeship over university as I feel I learn best from being in a structured environment and getting hands on learning and experience whilst creating a network of people in your industry. Moreover, I finish my degree faster than I would if I did a full-time degree and come out with no student debt.”
The week also included tasks for the students to complete via a dedicated Firefly page, which is still available and can be accessed at any time. The tasks ranged from videos on the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers, an activity pack to help students understand what apprenticeships are and what opportunities are available, and profiles of our recent leavers with helpful hints and tips on applying.
The week was organised by our Apprenticeships and Internships Adviser, Lisa Fountain, who will be happy to be contacted by any students or parents who would like to explore apprenticeships in more detail.
National Careers Week followed in March where students were offered the opportunity to explore a range of digital resources to help discover their potential career path or what their next area of study might be following school. Featured items included the NCW Virtual Careers Fair, where students could find out more about employers such as the BBC, Virgin, NHS, Accenture, Natwest, Siemens, GSK, PwC, O2, BAE, and many more. There were also links to explore job profiles with BBC
Bitesize and First Careers where students could get behind the scenes access to lots of different professions and hear interviews from those doing the jobs about what they are like.
Students could also take the ‘Jobs Personality Quiz’ to find out their personality traits and what jobs may suit them, along with a ‘Skills Builder Benchmark’ helpful self-assessment tool to discover their essential skills strengths and potential areas for improvement.
There was also a bespoke parent guide available providing information for parents to help their children make the right choices for successful futures following school, information about options including university and apprenticeship guidance, super curricular activities and the latest virtual work experience opportunities to explore.
National Apprenticeship Week and National Careers Week are useful ways to promote thinking about the future, but this can also occur all year round and at any age. Students are encouraged to explore their options at any time and to contact any member of the Futures Team for bespoke advice.