U-Explore helped us plan National Careers Week

NCW Ambassador & U-Explore careers advisor William Costello has shared his plans for #NCW2016 at Grace Academy Solihull (Coventry and Darlaston). It details the value in building National Careers Week and all career activities around unique student interest.

Using U-Explore helped us plan our National Careers Week

I am extremely proud of U-Explore’s vision for Career Education. On January 15th they launched their new product START. This will be free for every school and college in the entire UK. This features careers diagnostic, live labour market information, live job, traineeship and apprenticeship vacancies linked to over 1400 job profiles with related course and pathway information. It’s the perfect place to start for any young person planning their future and it’s FREE to everyone.

The careers education revolution will not be televised, it will be online! Over 170 schools have signed up within the first week. Go take a look and see what you think. I am happy to talk further about our plans too so feel free to get in touch.

U-Explore Website
Start Website

Using U-Explore in a school is to recognise that Career Education is not just a 30 minute interview with a Careers Advisor to decide the direction of your entire life. Careers education must come from your whole school experience. U-Explore allows careers advice to drip feed throughout a student’s everyday life. The aim is that careers advice is no longer seen as an isolated, stand-alone event. Using a whole school approach with U-Explore also allows teachers who are already stretched and overworked to seamlessly embed a careers element into their subject lesson with subject specific career resources.

Our whole school approach has meant that 1785 students have racked up 1 month 25 days and 10 hours worth of WRL through using their U-Explore profile and exploring careers in class with their subject teachers. Over 1000+ students have “favourited” job profiles to their own career journey profile.

U-Explore Session

Our National Careers Week Plan

We have a lecturer from The Academy of Play and Child Psychotherapy and Creative Arts Therapies Training Courses coming in to talk to our students as the career of Play Therapist was indicated as the most liked/favourited career amongst the students profile. There is an element of endeavouring to raise aspiration or rather broaden horizons with this. Time and time again I interview students who want to work with children because they just love children. However they automatically tend to limit themselves with the goal of “I will just go work in a nursery”. Not that there is anything wrong with working in a nursery or the vocational route toward that career, far from it. However it is not the only career that would allow students to work with children. This will be open to students from Y9 through to Post 16.

Students also indicated that Football is a firm favourite in terms of a career. We recognise that football is not a viable career for most students. However we responded to their interest and took the chance to show students how they can still build many careers around the industry of Sport/Football. UCFB Wembley will come to speak about their many courses designed around the industry of Football e.g. Football Marketing, Sports Journalism, Football Media, Sports Event Management etc.

Year 7/8/9 are planning a trip to Kidzania London to spark their interest in Careers and encourage them to see it as fun. Kidzania London is a massive manmade city in the Wakefield Shopping centre whereby Kids get to roleplay in a range of different careers. Kids can only aspire to what they know exists!

We’re taking Y10 through Post 16 students to the Newman University for a taster day where they will cover everything from student finance, Uni life to the UCAS application. Newman specialises in Teacher Training too, which is a big career interest of our students.

We have arranged for Midwifery and Teacher Training students to speak with our students about their experience as this was also a big area of interest from the students U-Explore activity. Midwifery in particular is a career I feel that students don’t fully think through before selecting it as an option.

The British multinational defence technology company QinetiQ headquartered in Farnborough will speak to our Y10 and Post 16 Engineering Students. It is the sixth-largest defence contractor based in the UK.

Further plans
Not Going to Uni? We have invited All About School Leavers and The Year Out Group to talk to our students about Apprenticeship options as we recognise that University is not for everyone.

In my first few weeks working at Grace I recognized that a cultural barrier existed in terms of student reluctance to consider options outside their own locality, that they thought everywhere was out of reach despite living ten minutes away from Birmingham City Centre on the train. In response to this I have reached out to Centro to do some career planning workshops with students to help raise aspirations and broaden horizons”.