On Wednesday 16th May the whole of year 10 spent the day engaged in an insightful and inspiring careers day. The school welcomed over 70 employers from over 40 local organisations including Eurotherm, JTL Training, Brighton City Airport, Projects Abroad, St Barnabas Hospice, CarpenterBox, and West Sussex County Council, to ensure the students had a wide variety of experience to learn from.
The day was divided into 5 sessions and every student attended each one. The sessions allowed the students to discover different job roles, hone their interview technique, learn about building an effective CV and explore the different post 16 options such as apprenticeships, sixth form and volunteer work.
The session ‘What’s my line’ was a favourite of many students. The students had 2 minutes to ask an employer questions, which they could only answer yes or no to, in order to determine what their job was. With around 15 employers in each session this was a fast moving, fun and informative session. Once the students had been round the whole room and made their guesses, each employer revealed their job role and company. These ranged from an actor, a molecular geneticist at GSK, a sports coach at Teach me Kung-Fu, a business manager in HMRC, a hair stylist at Richard John Hair Salon, director of operations at Driving Miss Daisy, the Littlehampton Harbourmaster, photographers (Helen Tinner), a financial economics university student, an international trade adviser, a social worker, chair of trustees, DMAT, and a college student, to name but a few! Not only did the employers reveal their jobs, they also spoke about their route to the job and gave some inspiring pearls of wisdom to the students. The theme of much of their advice was to persevere and they encouraged the students to never give up on what they wanted to do. Nikki Evans, the CEO of Goring Hall hospital said ‘knockbacks happen to everyone but never let them stop you doing what you want to do.’
Another practical session was mock interviews, where students chose from 4 different jobs to interview for. After just 10 minutes of preparation they were then interviewed by one of the employers for the job before being given constructive feedback. The 4 jobs to choose from were trainee dog trainer, IT apprentice, customer services assistant and accounts and administration assistant. They were interviewed by employers ranging from a wide variety of organisations; HSBC, Soren Learning Solutions, Coast 2 Capital, The Body Shop, Dixon Carphone Warehouse, Kreston Reeves Chartered Accountants, Coastal West Sussex Partnership, Carpenter Box, Roger Harrison Graphic Design, Eurotherm, Plumpton College and Worthing Hospital. These mock interviews were a really excellent way to give students valuable practise in speaking about their skills, interests and experience to someone they have not met before. The employers were very impressed with the students, with Caroline Wood, Director of Coast to Coast Partnerships noting that ‘the young people have fantastic ability to bring their skills to the mock interviews’ and Amber Constable an accountant from Carpenter Box saying that ‘it is a great chance for them to build confidence.’
The students also attended a CV building workshop where they used resources provided by TSB Bank to learn about what makes an impressive CV. They were made aware of details such as how to ensure you have a professional sounding email to how to make their skills and interests relevant to the working world.
Another session focussed on transitions where students were spoken to about the various options open to them after year 11. One session was led by Sixth Form teachers and students from Sir Robert Woodard Academy about the possibilities attending Sixth Form can offer. Another session was led by the University of Sussex (Insert). Another session was led by Concordia who spoke about the value of volunteering and how the skills and experiences gained from it can be helpful in identifying and achieving future career goals.
Another session was focussed on apprenticeships; these were led by West Sussex Apprenticeships, Apprenticeships in Sussex and Education Employers. Each session explored the variety of apprenticeships available and the various career paths they could lead to. Annie, currently enjoying her apprenticeship in business administration education and skills, explained ’the aim is to dispel the myths around apprenticeships. I want to give the students the right information so they can make an informed choice about if an apprenticeship is the right choice for them.’
The careers day was a huge success with the whole of year 10 buzzing with the possibilities of what life after Durrington High School could bring. Karen Jefford, Careers Leader & Community and Enterprise Manager, who had organised the day, said ‘it is so important to inspire and engage the students, and to introduce them to a wide range of possibilities for their futures. That is why we are so grateful to the many volunteers that have given up their time to be here today.’