Debbie Partridge Careers Adviser thinks that WorldSkills UK LIVE is a real benefit for her students. “I thought WorldSkills UK LIVE was brilliant this year. It was quite interesting because, I work in four schools. Three of my schools went this year, so, I actually went on two days with my careers leader who hadn't been for quite some time. And we just thought this year, the interactivity of it was brilliant. There was a real buzz.”
Debbie feels that her students benefited most from the high activity exhibits like the armed forces, “They’ve got tanks and the climbing wall. And we usually take our year nines. Because the first year I went, I took years eight, nine, 10 and 11 in 12 buses. We found that year nine are just at the right stage, they're like little sponges and they love having a go.
“This year before we went, I set them challenges because I want them to actually go and do something meaningful. I told them to collect business cards and be able to tell if somebody asked them what that person does as a job. I also challenged them to have at least one thing that they made or they did, so, they could bring that back. They got bird boxes and aeroplanes and heaven knows what.”
UK LIVE also has the Teacher Hub, which hosts the latest in careers advice and resources, which Debbie was keen to explore with her colleagues. “We found that useful because like I said, we've got a new careers leader that’s just taken over. She was able to grab a lot of information and speak to the apprenticeship people it was brilliant to get information from.
“Coming to LIVE is an important activity for students and helps meet the Gatsby Benchmark of employer encounters for a whole year group, which is fantastic. Students know what they're going to, what it is. They've been set tasks and challenges, and they're prepared. I think the better prepared the people are, the more that they get out of it. I think it’s the fact that it's got a variety of business, further education and employers is good. I noticed this year there were some university stands. It sort of ticks every box really and I like the fact that it's interactive.”
WorldSkillsUK provides a suite of lesson plans as part of the Careers Advice Toolkit which is free to download. Debbie was able to put these to good use. “Because all our personal, social, health and education and economic education and careers are planned for the whole year there isn't any free capacity. So, I adapted them for assembly and got tutors to follow up.
“We do say to students that you'll never get round all of it in one in one day if you do it properly. So we get them to choose at least two areas that they definitely want to go to.
We did an evaluation when we got back and we said, what were you thinking about? So many of them were saying, that they didn't know what an apprenticeship was and now they do. It doesn't matter how many times you tell them things in school, until they can actually witness and talk. It's the whole senses thing. Some came back and said, 'I wanted to do engineering. I've been to the engineering stands. I know that's what I want to do'. For some it has re-affirmed what they want to do. Others come back and say, 'I didn't even know that existed'. So that's just brilliant.”
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.