“How can I help the next generation reach their potential?” asks Nick Newman, CEO and Founder of National Careers Week.
National Careers Week is an organisation which aims to promote good careers education in schools and colleges. Their aim is to empower students, educators and organisations to ensure that young people are better prepared for the world of work. National Careers Week 2nd – 8th March 2020 celebrates the careers education and resources that schools can use to empower students to make insightful decisions about the next steps in their career paths.
Similarly, at Spark! we work with schools, colleges and businesses to provide engaging and fulfilling work experience and career insights throughout the academic year, enable students to understand the labour market and develop enterprise and employability skills. Our mission is to work with education and business to prepare people for working life and enhance their employability through practical and inspiring work-related experiences.In the last academic year, the team has placed over 2,500 students with an employer in their local area. We have seen incredible feedback from the students about how their work experience has already impacted them within just a school year. For example, some students have been offered a part-time job with the employer and others have gone onto apprenticeships related to their career mentor’s industry.
In November, as part of Spark!’s Annual Awards, I facilitated the Youth Panel of students from the Hounslow area. They spoke about their achievements since Spark!’s interventions and appealed to the local businesses attending the awards event to host work experience students. We also heard from Rod Natkiel, the Director of FairTrain, an organisation which assesses the success of a company’s work experience provision. Rod Natkiel best summed up the need for organisations and companies to host work experience students. He said that, according to the Department for Education’s Employer Perspectives Survey, 65% of the 18,000 employers surveyed would consider work experience a key factor when recruiting, however only 38 % of these employers offer work experience!
In order to best prepare the next generation for the world of work and progress towards the government’s Gatsby Benchmarks, key indicators of careers education in schools, we need to do more to encourage our colleagues and employers to host a work experience student.
For next year’s Careers Week could you or your employer pledge to host and promote a careers event, inspiring the next generation into the world of work? Find out more via the National Careers Week website.
Follow National Careers Week @CareersWeek on Twitter #NCW2020.
You can find out more about my work with Spark! here.
By Rachel Green, Projects Coordinator at Spark!