King Edward VI students gain valuable work experience thanks to Future Careers Fund

"The Future Careers grant has been so useful in getting this pilot project off the ground."

A college in Nuneaton has created a brand new work experience programme for its students with funding from Warwickshire County Council.

King Edward VI College received £2,000 from the Future Careers Fund, which was designed by the council to assist schools in adapting their careers provision post COVID-19.

Run by the council's Skills For Employment programme, the Future Careers Fund 2020 was made available to applications from all secondary schools and colleges in the county. Thirty-four of them accessed the support.

At King Edward VI College, the funding enabled payment for two employees to work an additional four hours per week, to create a pilot work experience programme. A new careers logo for the college was also created, along with a new student guide, logbook and posters. In addition, this freed up time for careers leader Rachael Talbot to concentrate on the college's Quality in Careers Award. 

Work experience is an integral element of careers options for young people. It enables them to expand their awareness of the world of work, build confidence, increase economic understanding from outside the classroom and relate their studies to work and training.

The new programme at King Edward has proved an immediate success with 31 students having signed up. Employers including Willmott Dixon, Caviar & Chips and Severn Trent have opened their doors to students for work experience placements.

The placements, to take place in Work Experience Week, starting 5th July 2021, are a mix of HR, business events and marketing.

Sujata Smith, director of progress and inclusion at King Edward VI College, said: "The Future Careers grant has been so useful in getting this pilot project off the ground. It has given us the capacity to put in place the systems needed for both the pilot and then for rolling this out across the wider student cohort next year. Achieving Gatsby benchmark 6 is a challenge with over 1,200 students, but this project will allow us to trial this process and make progress in meeting this benchmark."

WCC's Schools and Careers Coordinator Emma Neale said: "It is great to see King Edwards College use the Future Careers funding in such a creative and excellent way.

"The pandemic and its restrictions caused huge challenges for our schools and colleges in delivering their careers provision and it has been inspiring to see how risen to and adapted to those challenges and overcome them.

"I am delighted that the Future Careers Fund has proved so valuable and that so many students at Kings Edward College will get work experience that could launch them on their chosen career."

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