THE world of work, further education and apprenticeships has been thrown open to students at Bedford High School thanks to a special jobs and careers fair.
More than 30 prospective employers, training and apprenticeship providers and sixth form colleges converged on Bedford’s U Block Hall for the marketplace style event.
The school’s Year 11 students, who are currently preparing for their GCSE exams, were able to visit the various stalls and find out what is on offer for them when they leave school in the summer.
They had the chance to learn about how to pursue a career in finance with banking giant Santander, the nuts and bolts of an engineering apprenticeship with Sellafield and how to march into one of the many professions on offer through a career in the Armed Forces.
They also had the chance to discover more about life at the regions many sixth form colleges by talking to representatives from St John Rigby, Pendleton, Warrington UTC, St Helens and Bolton.
The Market Place: Paul Brown from Pendleton College talks with students Connor Hoskins and Jacob Kryszak.
Student Connor Hoskins was on the look out for advice on how to pursue a career in engineering.
“I was originally interested in how to get a job as a mechanic but today’s event has opened a lot more doors for me,” said Connor. “I am now looking to further my education and look towards a career in Engineering.”
He added: “We are coming up to our exams and it’s quite a stressful time and it’s important we make the right choices about our future. That’s why events like this at our school are so important to us.”
Bedford High School has a strong tradition of providing young people with top class work-related learning opportunities. The school was named a specialist Business and Enterprise College in 2003. The quality of Careers Education at Bedford has also received national recognition with a Gold Inspiring Information Advice and Guidance Award.
Student Mollie Higginbottom used the Careers Fair to find out more about Sixth Form Colleges.
“Our school and teachers give us so much support in this area,” said Mollie. “It’s brilliant that we have already been thinking about our next step for quite a while. It will help us to make the right choices for our future.”
Santander Manchester Regional Manager Norma Tinsley, was just one of the many exhibitors who were impressed with the event.
“It’s fabulous that the young people are given this direct contact with potential employers,” she said. “There is a lot on offer for young people in the the world of banking and plenty of different apprenticeship opportunities. It is also one of those careers where anyone joining the bank at entry level can make it to the top.”
Supermarket Sweep: Former Bedford student Andrew Ratcliffe from Morrisons with learner Milena Prochorovaite.
For exhibitor Andrew Ratcliffe from supermarket giant Morrisons, the event was a bit of a homecoming.
“I am a former Bedford student myself so I know how good the careers support is here,” said Andrew. “We are here to let the young people know about the many opportunities available through Morrisons. It’s not just about working in the store and on the checkouts but in logistics, engineering, food manufacturing and more. There is a lot on offer.”
After the Year 11 students had finished their tour, it was the chance for the younger learners to find out more.
Parent Dawn Critchley attended the event to support son Seth, who is in Year 10. Seth wanted to find out how to break into the world of Architecture.
“This is a great event,” said Dawn. “I am really impressed with the quality of information on offer. Seth has expressed an interest in Architecture in the past but we were a bit unsure of what we needed to do to pursue this. After speaking to some of the exhibitors today we are now a lot clearer about what we need to do.”
Bedford High School Headteacher Helen Phillips said: “Preparing our students for what they will do when they leave school is at the heart of everything we do at Bedford.”
“We encourage our young people to start thinking about their next move long before they leave school so they are well prepared to go out and get what they want.”
“Days like this give them valuable knowledge of the qualities and skills they will need to succeed. We are extremely proud of all our young people and from the comments we have received from those employers and organisations who attended, they made a really positive impression.”