Employers join forces with schools in careers workshops

Business and education join forces to deliver career boost to 3,500 Black Country pupils.

Over 3,500 pupils are set to receive a career boost after 28 teachers received a unique insight into skills, job roles and career paths open to young people.

The Business in the Community event, the first one of its type held in the Black Country, brought together six major employers to deliver interactive workshops to 13 different schools in a bid to help teachers better understand what companies are looking for in a potential employee.

adi Group, A.F. Blakemore & Son, Lloyds Banking Group, Pertemps, Shakespeare Martineau and The Midcounties Co-operative Society were all on hand to discuss career pathways, recruitment options and the skills, attitudes and behaviours that employers require from young people.

BitC event

The Employer Insight session was held at Aldridge High (part of the Mercian Trust) and came on the back of studies that show 92% of young people are influenced by their teachers or parents.

Palvinder Dulai, engagement manager at Business in the Community, said: “We all know that business and education needs to work closer together in order to secure the skills our economy needs going forward.

“Teachers have a major role to play in not only educating our young people, but also helping them to define their career choices. The more exposure we can give them to employers so they understand pathways and the type of qualities they are looking for the better – it can really make a difference to young people looking for guidance at an important stage of their lives.

“Six major employers in the Black Country answered our call to action to take part in this ‘twilight event’ and the feedback was fantastic. They delivered some really impressive workshops and kickstarted discussions around enhancing work experience opportunities and sessions for Year 12 pupils that highlight pathways and recruitment options.

“Companies also presented latest information on the local labour market and heard how they could do more to support teachers in delivering the curriculum.”

Paul Cowley, director of corporate affairs, A.F. Blakemore & Son and a member of Business in the Community’s West Midlands Advisory Board, added his support: “The Employer Insight event was a huge success and demonstrated a real collaboration between the six participating companies, Business in the Community and local schools.

“As a business it is vital that we engage with schools to showcase the diversity of opportunities that we provide and help teachers understand the skills that employers require from young people entering the world of work.

“The feedback we received from teachers on the night was fantastic and we now have a ready-made event that we can deliver across the wider region.”

The Employer Insight session also saw the launch of a new virtual tool for students to access, which provides real life case studies and advice from young people who have recently started their first steps on the career ladder. Interviewees talk about their experiences of work, how they were recruited and the skills and behaviours required.

These videos will be made accessible to schools so that pupils can gain an insight into life in the workplace and help them understand different career options and expectations from employers.