Stoke Staffs LEP
Schools-industry link opens up career choices for pupils
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Schools-industry link opens up career choices for pupils

Pupils at a Stoke-on-Trent school are surveying potential careers as construction industry professionals in a project bringing maths to life run by the Careers and Enterprise Company in partnership with Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Haywood Academy, Burslem, has teamed up with Seddon to show Year 11 pupils how their GCSE maths can be applied in real-world jobs.

Trainee quantity surveyor Corey Holden, who is studying for a maths degree while working for Seddon, held a series of maths lessons to bring the subject to life with tasks such as measuring the school hall and calculating the amounts of materials required to rebuild it.

Assistant principal and maths teacher Mel Roberts said: “It makes all the difference for pupils to see maths actually being used in industry.

“Using questions based on what goes on in everyday working life gives them a real understanding of why maths matters and they have been very enthusiastic about it. It has also opened their eyes to a range of career choices that they didn’t even realise existed.”

Corey, aged 22, discussed construction career options including civil engineering, project management and site management, as well as quantity surveying, with the Haywood pupils.

“Being able to work on multi-million pound Seddon projects while studying at the same time has been an ideal career path for me,” he said.

“My experience illustrates that careers in construction are about much more than bricks and mortar and being part of a great company like Seddon really enables you to develop a wide range of skills and experience.”

Emma Dempster, Project Skills Manager at Seddon, added: “Working in partnership with the Careers and Enterprise Company has given us the opportunity to support pupils at Haywood Academy and offer them greater insight into construction career paths.

“Our trainee quantity surveyor Corey’s lessons based around his job role help students gain a better understanding of real-world issues when planning a project as well as an idea of the wide range of careers that are available. In the construction industry.

“Corey has done a fantastic job in the delivery of his lessons and has shown the students how varied and exciting the industry is.”

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP chairman David Frost CBE said: “The LEP’s key aims include raising skills levels and creating more and better paid jobs in priority sectors of our local economy such as advanced manufacturing and technology. Equipping young people to take full advantage of the fulfilling and rewarding careers of the future will help our area prosper in the long term.

“I am delighted that pupils at Haywood Academy and other schools across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire are connecting so successfully with the world of work.”

 A number of schools are working across the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP area with the Careers and Enterprise Company.  Each of the schools is matched to an Enterprise Adviser who is a volunteer from business who works with the school, along with the Enterprise Coordinator to support the implementation of an all-school careers programme.  The programme meets career guidance benchmarks and Department for Education guidance and is aligned to the LEP’s aims of creating more and better job in key sectors of the local economy such as advanced manufacturing and engineering. The aim is to raise students’ aspirations, prepare them for the world of work and reduce the skills gap.

There are currently 37 Enterprise Advisers for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent from a variety of sectors.  They have supported the schools in the planning of their careers programme and delivery of activities for students.  These activities have included bringing subject to life, like the work Seddon is currently doing with Haywood Academy.  They have also supported with mentoring, mock interview days, workshops to support students in decision-making for GSCE options, enterprise competitions, planning their career pathways, self-awareness and employability sessions, and lots more.

Research shows that young people who have four or more encounters with the world of work while in education are 86% less likely to be NEET – not in education, employment or training – and on average will go on to earn 18% more than their peers who did not have such opportunities.

We are looking for more businesses to get involved in the Enterprise Adviser Network either as an Enterprise Adviser or by supporting the scheme in other ways.

Any schools and employers interested in getting involved in the scheme in Stoke-on-Trent can contact Ian Picken Ian.Picken@stoke.gov.uk and in Staffordshire they can contact Carrie Abbott Carrie.Abbott2@stoke.gov.uk

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