The Market Bosworth School, Nuneaton
Beth Luker, Careers Lead at a secondary school in Leicestershire feels her students get a great deal out of WorldSkills UK LIVE. “This year was particularly good, student feedback was they loved it. There was so much going on, and so much for them to do. There seemed to be a lot more people to speak to and activities that they could watch.”
Beth’s students had no hesitation in getting stuck in across a range of exhibits, “Some of the students were dancing with the band and we came away with so many photos of them actually on the stands. It's nice to see the kids come back and say, “that was really good”.
We bring the entire year 10 group, about 190 students. It's really good for them to go and see what careers are out there and not just have me banging on at them, saying “You need to do this, you need to that”. They have that freedom to explore, ask the questions, have a go at things, see the careers, the colleges, universities and all the current apprenticeships. For them it's a real experience to make decisions for the future without it being too university focused. It makes them think “So what's next?” and I think that's really important.
Being prepared before the event is an important part of getting the most out of WorldSkills UK LIVE, for Beth’s students, “We have an assembly before the event and in tutor time they make a list of the stands that they want to go and see. That way we know what their key focus is going to be. We visit for a whole day as we definitely don't want them to rush round, so we give them enough time to explore.”
Follow up is equally important in getting students to absorb their experiences at LIVE into their career planning, Beth says, “We do a short survey when we come back into school and feedback, particularly this year, has been very positive and the students really enjoyed the day out. Some students can be really good at avoiding ideas of what they might want to do. For those that don't have an idea or perhaps don't have the opportunities that some other students have I think it really benefits them to be able to go and see what is out there. Also, some students can be quite narrow minded in what they want to do. They come back and say, “I never even knew that job existed”, ‘”I didn't know you could do an apprenticeship in that” or ‘”I didn't know I could go and do that, I always thought I had to do A Levels”.
Asked how WorldSkills UK LIVE fits in with the in-school careers provision Beth says, “In year nine, the students start looking at GCSE options. Then in year 10 we do a labour market focus and explore the skills they have and then how those skills fit particular jobs. So, when they go to WorldSkills UK LIVE, they can explore. They might think “Okay, so I might want to go into this sector, I'm going to go and have a look and find out a bit more”, or “With the skills that I have and predicted grades, am I going to be able to get into this?” It's good for them to go and talk to experts. Also, as part of our curriculum, we have employer encounters between years seven and 11, when they leave us, they will have had at least five encounters with employers.”
There are opportunities at the event for teachers too including the Teacher Hub which offers up to date resources on careers guidance and the chance to meet other teachers. “For me, networking was important. I like to engage with local businesses as much as possible because we have a lot of talks going on in school. I go and speak to some of the big companies like BMW and get the contacts and links to take students out to visit their companies.”
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.