Harris Church of England Academy, Rugby
Andrea O’Brien Head of Careers at Harris Academy is an enthusiastic spokesperson on how WorldSkills UK LIVE can benefit her students. “It’s the third year we’ve been. There’s a lot of variety there, so there’s something for everybody, I think it’s brilliant.
“It's the variety and the fact that there's so many different things going on. Some of the students might be shy and not want to go up to people to talk, so they can sit and watch the presentations. Those that want to get involved, do. If one student is interested in hair and beauty that can go that way, if another is interested in bricklaying they can go the opposite direction. Media, digital, catering and engineering were the popular exhibits along with the more practical stands where they could have a go and have a bit of fun together.”
A key feature of WorldSkills UK LIVE is the scale and variety of opportunities on offer that sets it apart from other events, says Andrea, “WorldSkills UK LIVE is the big one that we make sure we get into the curriculum every year.”
Andrea believes that attending really makes a difference to her students. “It helps a lot of them to find out that they don’t necessarily need high grades for some of the things they want to do, they could go through lower levels to start with or an apprenticeship. It puts a lot of them at ease. I think they learn a lot about how they can get to certain careers.”
Asked how WorldSkills UK LIVE fits in with in-school careers provision, Andrea says, “We tend to take students who are in year ten because they're going to be doing a work experience placement later in the year. It fits in quite nicely that they go to WorldSkills UK LIVE first, and then have their careers meeting and work experience after.”
WorldSkills UK LIVE also offers teachers opportunities to catch up with the latest developments, says Andrea, “What I tend to do with my colleagues is go and see companies that I may never have spoken to before, to make new contacts and to see whether we can get them into our schools. So, from my point of view, it’s building up the network base. Every year, we contact one or two people who come into school.”
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.