We spoke to Rachel Massey at The Westwood Academy to find out why she brings pupils to WorldSkills UK LIVE.
When you first attended, how did you find it?
It was a big eye-opener. It was quite impressive because it was such a big exhibition. There’s been an RAF plane there and things like that which people don’t normally get to see. That makes an impression.
How did you find last year’s event?
It’s always busy. We let our students go off and we stand outside and give instructions and then tell them to pick up one of the maps. If you don’t have a map it’s mind-blowing so they can just wander about aimlessly. But every year it’s good. That’s obviously why it is that we keep going back.
How well does the event fit in with your careers provision?
It fits in really well. Our careers provision is a bit more intense than it used to be. The show ticks a lot of boxes. We tend to take students that are more interested in college and apprenticeships.
How do you feel that the event helps them?
I think it’s a big eye-opener. We always tell them to go and see where the competitions are going on so they can actually see people physically doing stuff. It’s just trying to open their eyes to the opportunities that are out there. We tell them to collect literature if there’s anything that they are particularly interested in and we’ll get verbal feedback from them. We do get kids that come back really enthusiastic.
Does it change your students’ thoughts and attitudes about their future careers?
Definitely for some. I think it has the potential to do that with the skills activities, when they can actually see someone doing welding for example. You’ve got the competitions where you can see people doing tiling and all that sort of stuff. I think that’s where the more vocational students find inspiration.
What part of the event did you find particularly effective or useful for yourself?
We go around and collect literature for our careers resources. That’s useful.