Students in East Herts schools get a taste of careers opportunities

08 March 2016

The Youth Connexions team in East Herts is demonstrating the breadth of career options available to school students by holding a series of ‘careers carousel’ events and by arranging work experience placements.

In the first week of March, Youth Connexions and Birchwood High School provided the opportunity for all year 10 students to meet with employers from organisations across Hertfordshire. This activity was part of the National Careers Service's Careers Inspiration project which aims to break down barriers to enable schools and employers to work in partnership helping students to have a greater understanding of the local economy and the requirements of employers.

Birchwood School March 1

At the careers carousel at Birchwood High School, students could meet with 35 employers 

Over thirty employers provided an insight into a broad range of industries during a ‘careers carousel’ event. Young people gained an awareness of the range of local employment opportunities, what qualifications and experience are required for specific professions and some of the opportunities available to them close to their communities.

Youth Connexions Employment and Skills Coordinator Wendy Gordon organised the event with support from Birchwood High School.  Wendy Gordon said “It was fantastic to see so many employers wanting to discuss their companies with Birchwood High School students. I think the young people there were surprised to find out the enormous breadth of ways in which they could start their work careers – from Apprenticeships at 16 to the traditional graduate routes.”

Another way for young people to find out about the world of work is through spending a week in a workplace. Fifteen year old Gemma, a student at Sele School in Hertford, recently spent a week with East Herts District Council Procurement Officer Tracey Sargent. Gemma commented “I’ve found my week here really interesting and a great opportunity to do something different. I’ve worked on spreadsheets, helped with delivering and franking the post, watched an electronic bank transfer process, looked up items in the council’s supplier brochure and updated the contracts register.

“I’m not sure what direction I’d like my career path to take yet and I’m looking forward to coming back for another week in the summer holidays to find out what it’s like working in the communications team.” 

Tracey Sargent said: “It was great to have Gemma working alongside the Procurement Team. She has accepted all tasks with gusto and has asked lots of questions. She became part of the team very quickly and we would definitely welcome her back.”

Head of HR and organisational development Emma Freeman said: “Offering work experience and attending careers carousels are great ways of getting East Herts District Council into young people’s minds as an option for an exciting career. We’re also working on developing further opportunities for young people of various ages with more apprenticeship and graduate schemes.”    

Find out more about Youth Connexions services to schools

Young people can find information about career options here.