Careers advisor Grace Pastore at St Ignatius College found the WorldSkills UK Spotlight Talks in November 2020, presented by star TV personality Will Best, complemented her own work with students.

“I found the Spotlight Talks very informative. It’s very hard to get employee engagement in some of the areas that that we cover. So that’s really, really useful.”

Grace and some of her students watched the broadcasts live but also appreciated being able to access the recordings after the event.

“I watched them live and having the recordings available is also really good. I can only watch live with students that are in my study time, so that means there’s going to be students who might miss out on talks that would be relevant to them. So, having access to the recordings was perfect.”

Commenting on the range of speakers Grace says:

It was broad range of talks, and I think you need that. You don’t want to hear from everybody from the same industry, you need that diversity.

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

“During COVID it’s hard to fulfil benchmark five and six, which is your engagements with employers. So anything that we can get during this time is vital. And the fact that it’s live and you can ask questions is really important for engagement. Normally I would arrange trips out to companies, but I can’t do that in the current climate, and I won’t be able to do that until September I’m sure. So having events like yours is essential because it’s one of those events where students can see inside the company or they can they can hear from an employer or employee.”

Asked what advice she might give to other careers advisors Grace says:

“As a career advisor, we have to cover all of our benchmarks. In this current climate, it’s really difficult. It allows you to tick that box, but it’s not just about the benchmarks. It’s about the students gaining the information they need to make choices. I think things like Spotlight Talks gives you and gives the students the information they need to know about what it’s really like to be at work, and what they need to do in order to achieve their goals. Plus, you don’t just have video after video, there’s a host who lets you know what’s coming up, so it’s very engaging and informative. And it’s nice to have some live questions – I think you need that live engagement. If you just had pre-recorded videos all the time, you wouldn’t get the same engagement from a student as you would during a live session.

“It achieves what the career leader needs, but it also achieves what the student needs. So, it’s a win-win.”

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