Ellie Davies from Bournemouth and Pool College got her construction students to watch the WorldSkills UK Spotlight Talk by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

“I made sure my students watched the Royal Institute of British Architects talk as they’re studying construction and they also caught the talk from the Careers and Enterprise Company, which was good for everyone. My colleagues and their students watched some of the other videos as well – the Army talk for example. I think it was a good all-round event.”

The WorldSkills UK Spotlight Talks have been created to complement school and college careers advice and Ellie finds they works well for her and her students.

“I look after work experience placements, and sending students out during a pandemic isn’t ideal, so we had to go virtual this year when placements were suspended during the lockdowns. We’ve been looking for virtual activities and I’m glad that we stumbled upon the Spotlight Talks in November. We counted it towards students’ virtual work experience hours, because it’s like an employer encounter. It wasn’t just giving them something to listen to, it was an external speaker discussing career paths, so it fit in very well with what we’re trying to deliver this year.”

I think there’s nothing quite like having a student being able to have the opportunity to participate in a live Q&A.

Ellie thinks the Spotlight Talks were an opportunity for students to think about things that they may not have considered before.

“In an education environment, if we’ve got external speakers saying the same things as the teachers, it might help everything to click. When the students are listening to someone who is in industry, like an architect, who can talk about where they started off from, how they got to where they are, and the highs and the lows of their career so far it resonates more.

“There was something there for everyone. It was an opportunity for educators and students to dip into things that they liked the look of, or they could view the whole event. Even if students watch a talk, and think ‘I definitely don’t want to do that’, it is still valuable for them. It can help students to figure what it is they want to do and what it is that they don’t want to do.”

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