All Saints Catholic High School
Phil Richardson of All Saints Catholic High School in Sheffield thought a lot about whether to bring his students to WorldSkills UK LIVE (2019), and a key driver was the scale of the event and variety of exhibitors. “I was told that it has a lot of interactive stands where the students could get involved and could actually take part in things. I took them to a similar event a few years ago, but it was much smaller. It made for a very long day to see about 15, 20 things, and not have many interactions. So, from our point of view, WorldSkills UK LIVE was really good.”
He and his students were not disappointed, and he says, “I thought it was really good. There was a nice range of employers and businesses there and I thought the different activities that the students were able to engage with made it really worthwhile. The students all said really positive things about the event.” It seemed they were most engaged with action-based exhibits, “They liked the climbing wall with the Army, and watching the hairdressing competition. There was also tourism, a marine exhibit, police cars and that kind of thing.”
Live is an opportunity to see skills and professions up close and get a good look at what’s involved. “We have a couple of students who were thinking about going into hairdressing. When they saw the hairdressing competition and the things that the hairdressers were asked to do, they realised it wasn’t quite what they imagined. They thought they would just be cutting hair all day, but in fact there can be so much more to it. By actually being there to see it, it really helped them.”
Asked whether he would recommend LIVE to other teachers, Phil doesn’t hesitate to give his recommendation. “I would say that it's exceptionally well organised and very easy to navigate the different sectors. You’re not on top of each other either.” There was the added plus of the Travel Bursary for eligible schools and colleges, “It’s very important. We have got a lot of students from deprived backgrounds, so the travel bursary was really useful.”
It wasn’t just the students who benefited from visiting LIVE, but Phil also made the most of connecting with organisations keen to offer training, apprenticeship and employment opportunities to young people. “I use these kinds of events to network and to try and get business links. I find it useful being able to talk to companies that I’ve not had chance to have an outreach with, to see if they'd be prepared to do some activities with schools like ours.
Help your learners go further, faster
WorldSkills UK LIVE is the UK's biggest, best hands-on careers event. Taking place every November at the NEC, Birmingham, the event lets young learners get to grips with their future career.