Our Lady and St Chad Catholic Academy
Q: What did you think of WorldSkills 2019?
Christopher Durkin, Assistant Head Teacher continues to be impressed with WorldSkills UK LIVE, having visited with students four times. “I thought it was very, very good. I’d describe it as an unmissable opportunity to showcase a vast majority of skills and professions that will enthuse and motivate any student that attends. I took a number of my year eleven students. We always aim it at the middle and lower end of the year group because a great proportion of it is on apprenticeships, although I did notice this time there seemed to be a lot more for the higher end as well, which might make me change my demographic slightly for next year.
“From a student point of view there are so many different things that are good, it's hard to pick out one thing. The highlight is the ability to go around and see so many good examples of careers in a very short space of time. I think the event is second to none in terms of giving them ideas and possibilities for the future. There’s everything from being a butcher, a stonemason, or even a jockey or horse stables careers as well. There’s absolutely everything you could possibly want, employers as well as universities, colleges, Air Force, Navy - they're all there. With all the activities available it's very interactive. Watching the WorldSkills UK Competitions National Finals is a good thing as well, the competitors are often only a couple years older than our students.
Asked how WorldSkills UK LIVE fits in with in-school careers advice provision, Christopher says, “The end of year ten is when our students have work experience, mock interviews and so on. When they move to year eleven, we try to leave them to focus on their studies, and the only event we take then to - apart from the occasional talk, is LIVE. We feel that the November slot it fits in well because the students have had their work experience, they’re about to take their mock exams and they’re looking at next steps and potential careers. Having the opportunity to go and see a whole variety of different careers can often raise their aspirations and give them an end goal at just the right time.
“It allows them to see a wide variety of careers and ask for information, advice and guidance if there are any that they're interested in. I always say to them, if you come away with just one thing that you didn't know before that you might action, then it's been a worthwhile experience. I always ask them to go and talk to as many people as they can, and if they see something of interest, go and talk to them to find out about it. It might just be the thing that turns the key in the lock and gets them into that career. If you went through each of the different jobs that they encountered on the day in lessons, it would probably take a whole term to go through.
WorldSkills UK LIVE also offers CPD and networking opportunities for teachers. Christopher says, “I’d say a highlight is the opportunity to talk to providers and career professionals about various things that I could bring into school. For example, there were apprenticeship materials that were very good. From a professional point of view, I thought it was excellent CPD.”
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.