Top local employers including Mazak, Waitrose, Southco, McDonalds and Freedom Leisure took part this week in a careers fair at Regency High School – a Worcester school which caters for students with additional educational needs.
About 50 students aged 13 and over attended the event, which took place on Tuesday 27 November.
In line with central Government’s careers strategy ‘Making the most of everyone’s skills and talents’ (published Dec 2017), Worcester City Council aims to ensure that all students in Worcester will meet at least one employer in every year that they are at school – and that they will participate in at least two ‘workplace experiences’ during their time in education.
“We want every child at school in Worcester to have the chance to meet local employers and experience the workplace, to help them make important career decisions for the future,” explains Cllr Adrian Gregson, Vice Chair of the City Council’s Place and Economic Sub Committee.
“This type of event also shows employers that young people of all abilities have the talent and skills to become valuable members of their future workforce”.
Global manufacturer Mazak, which attended the careers fair, is offering a week-long cadetship to six Regency High School students in February.
Southco, a locally based engineering business which makes latches and hinges, has also offered work experience placements to students at the school.
“We absolutely want more young people in Worcester working with us in the future,” says Suzanne Fitzmaurice, Southco’s Compensation and Benefits Manager.
“Today has been an opportunity for us to demonstrate to students how engineering can help make people’s lives easier.”
Local business Fernhill House Care Homes was also at the careers fair, and currently has two students at the school on work placement.
Home Manager Mike Dearn explains: “We’re keen to build good links with the school – both of the students currently on work experience with us have the potential to be future employees with the business.”
Worcester City Council, which has prioritised building effective links between schools and employers in its Employment and Skills strategy (2018 – 2021), is working in partnership with the Careers and Enterprise Company and Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
This week a cross-county ‘Creating Your Future Workforce’ campaign was launched, encouraging more businesses to become voluntary careers and enterprise advisors for local schools. Eleven major local employers have already signed up to the scheme.
Tom George, Careers Advisor at Regency High School, believes such links are essential to improve the employment prospects of students with additional educational needs.
“I would say to Worcester employers, offer a work experience placement to one of our students – then you can see for yourself the skills they can offer you.”
For more information on support available for schools and businesses interested in joining the scheme, contact Amanda Lloyd – Amanda.firstname.lastname@example.org tel. 01905 722181.