National Careers Week: Inspiring a generation

Written by Kessa Amoo, Project Manager, Education Works

This week is National Careers Week, and safe to say it is like no other. National Careers Week is targeted at improving the levels of careers education in schools and colleges, and helping the students to identify links between the courses they study, the skills they acquire and the pathways that can open up. With the current disruption to schools, this National Careers Week highlights challenges for us at ELBA and many student-facing staff on how to engage students in employability activity amidst Covid-19. With many schools putting a hold on careers and employability activities to focus on catching up with curriculum learning, this Careers Week becomes more important than any other in highlighting the need to support students with careers activities.

In line with the National Careers focus, the Mentoring Works team are launching the Sixth Form/Post-16 Mentoring Programmes in March. The programme matches students from areas in London that are positioned high on the Indices of Deprivation to volunteer business mentors, introducing young people to the world of work, and developing key skills and knowledge needed for future careers. This year, Mentoring Works has adopted the national Skills Builder Universal Framework, developed to show how to build essential skills at every stage of life. Our volunteers are passionate about our young people’s development – this makes the work the Mentoring Works team do crucial in helping to motivate and inspire students.

The Education Team have also contributed, with the launch of a collaborative piece across ELBA: ‘A Day in the Life Of…’ career profiles, to be used as a resource for schools with the aim to broaden students’ understanding of different careers and pathways available to them. While debunking some of the myths of the corporate world, they also aim to delve a bit deeper into the typical life of a professional and provide a snapshot of each job role, working environment, and journey into employment. We understand it is important that this type of knowledge and these types of materials are readily available to students as we know that meaningful encounters with employers and insights are incredibly impactful, and hope that by giving young people these opportunities they will be less likely to become NEET. We look forward to making these resources available on the website soon.

We are also continuing to work with our schools and colleges to deliver virtual activity. The range of activities that we offer in the Education team, such as mentoring and career insight sessions, are aimed at enabling students to develop key employability skills that will be relevant to them throughout their lives. Despite the challenging year we have faced together, we are amazed by the amount of activity we have been able to deliver up until this point.

We would like to thank all of our volunteers who have aided in helping us to create impactful resources, run programmes and workshops to support students with careers, and helping us to navigate through this year while still being able to engage students and inspire them! We hope to create another year of impact, and are really excited to work alongside all of you.

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