Innovation has been an absolute necessity during the Covid-19 pandemic and thanks to the creativity and effective practice of stakeholders at this time, and since the inception of the Careers Strategy, hundreds of thousands of young people have continued to receive support to make informed future career decisions.
You'll find a number of inspirational Careers Champions highlighted below and you can use these social banners to celebrate your own Careers Champions who are taking innovative approaches to careers education, information, advice and guidance.
We continue to be inspired by all those who use their imagination to see how to deliver in a post-COVID world; the imagination of those who seek creative ways of doing things; and the imagination of those who consistently employ innovative thinking to deliver effective practice.
Let’s celebrate all those whose work has shown vision and new or improved ways to transform careers education for young people, building on the best evidence and understanding of needs.
Watch the videos below to hear about Claudia Harris and Christine Hodgson's highlights, and meet the Champions themselves…
‘Danny, and Beacon Hill Community School, have created something for their students which has been innovative, forward thinking, and progressive in response to a challenging future skills shortage within the County so it will benefit not only the individual students, but also the wider community.’
Beacon Hill Community School
In Cumbria, there is a significant shortage of people to take over the tens of thousands of jobs of those projected to retire from the labour market in the coming years. To encourage more students from schools and colleges to fill these places, Beacon Hill Community School has introduced the Local Labour Market Aligned Curriculum (LLMAC). Headteacher, Danny Gee was a driving force behind this initiative.
The school wants to ensure that students are prepared, aware and ready to embrace future labour market challenges and the huge opportunities that they offer.
The LLMAC combines the traditional curriculum with the Cumbrian Award, Industry Projects and Engineering BTEC. Each of these components prepare students with the necessary knowledge, communication and problem-solving skills they will need to address both their own and the local area needs for the future. This rich approach allows students to work with a range of employers on different six week projects each half term, which builds awareness and understanding of the industry that surrounds them.
As the programme was designed in consultation with local employers, the skills young people develop are exactly what industry demands, meaning that students are prepared to meet labour market needs. The programme is developmental, progressive and facilitates reflective thinking so that students can leave school feeling and being the best they can be.
Thank you to everyone at Beacon Hill Community School for creating real world industry connections which allow your students to leave school as confident and articulate young people ready to take their next steps.
‘Get with the Program is a Careers Champion because its innovative, exciting and fun interactive theatre events have captured children’s imaginations worldwide, inspiring them to see the amazing potential of a career in technology.’
Get with the Program
Innovation is vital in technology, and Get with the Program has a unique and creative way of inspiring today’s students to look towards careers in STEM, so they can become the tech innovators of the future.
The idea is that businesses sponsor exciting interactive theatre events which teach children coding concepts in line with the school curriculum, with fun themes that also engage them in real-world issues. Using storytelling and performance, children are taken on a coding adventure which they really feel part of. It’s this innovative approach which really makes their concept special, transforming a normal computing class into an engaging experience.
Whether face-to-face or online, over a quarter of a million children have benefitted from this initiative already. And it’s not just the children who benefit – parents, carers and teachers are also learning more about technology and thinking afresh about STEM careers and the STEM curriculum.
The team at Get with the Program really understand the importance of delivering career-related learning in an experiential, fun, imaginative way to inspire the children and challenge stereotypes. And by linking businesses and primary schools together, children’s eyes are opened to a wealth of exciting future career possibilities.
Thank you to Get with the Program for creating innovative experiences to inspire the tech innovators of the future!
‘Meg has brought such enthusiasm and coherence to the role it has inspired pupils and staff. The innovative programme is really enabling our pupils to encounter such exciting new experiences and succeed in positive life and career choices.’
Crookhey Hall School & Meg Blore, Careers Leader
Many pupils arrive at Crookhey Hall with an educational health care plan (EHCP) and other complex needs. The majority have had difficulties outside of school, have negative views about future careers and anxieties related to leaving school.
To ensure that their young people are prepared for the future, Crookhey Hall have designed an ambitious and achievable careers programme that considers the needs of all students. They start early and their whole school approach includes embedded opportunities for meaningful encounters with employers and a curriculum that focuses on skills development and weaves careers support into all teaching.
Innovation is key. Using Virtual Reality (VR) headsets, pupils with high level anxieties can now be immersed in a virtual world of their choice. This means that all young people can experience the world of work across a huge range of sectors. Pupils can build their confidence in a safe environment, which often leads to increased appetite to progress onto a real-life encounter. VR supports the preparation for work experience, for example through a travel module that enables pupils to acclimatise to the idea of ‘getting to work’.
Their Careers Leader, Meg, supports pupils by enabling them to experience the recruitment process through mock applications and mock interviews. She also sees the importance of role models and brings back former students to talk about their journey after school.
Thank you to all at Crookhey Hall for your innovative approach to career-related learning that provides life changing experiences for your young people.
‘The team are creators who always find a new solution, measure their impact and then share with others - inspirational!’
Buckinghamshire Skills Hub
When faced with national lockdown last year, the team at Buckinghamshire Skills Hub realised their annual Skills Show would need to change – they took it online.
The Bucks Skills Show Online 2020 motivated students after lockdown and demonstrated why subjects are relevant to real life. Employees from businesses such as McAfee, Esri, Capgemini and BAM Construct delivered parts of the curriculum, across a range of subjects, demonstrating how learning is used in everyday jobs. Employees also spoke about their career journeys, providing young people with a wealth of advice and helpful messages about different routes into their industries and the skills required.
Content, which was created for the events, has been published online allowing students and parents to access it at times that suit them. This has drastically increased the Hub's reach. Online events carried on into National Apprenticeships Week and will be staying around in the future.
As a result of their innovation, young people in Buckinghamshire still benefited from employer encounters and linking learning to careers.
Thank you to all at Buckinghamshire Skills Hub for thinking creatively and producing high quality interactions with employers that allow your young people to see all the opportunities available to them in their area and beyond.