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Year 11 students went back to business with a Day of Employability

Year 11 students went back to business with a Day of Employability

Year 11 students went straight back to business on the first day of term with a Day of Employability, organised by Mrs Kate Mead and Peter Buncombe from Form the Future. As the students enter their GCSE year, they will be working hard for their subjects and selecting their A Levels. This day provides an opportunity to zoom out from school life and reflect on their future careers.  

We were delighted to welcome local employers into the school, to share their expertise with the students and help to prepare them for their next steps. The workshops spanned a range of practical skills, broadened students’ knowledge of options, from higher education to apprenticeships, and provided key advice for success, no matter what their chosen path. In their feedback forms, 100% of students said they would recommend this event to future students. 

One session, led by Daiane Hall, a Senior IT and Engineering Consultant at Kameo Recruitment, aimed to hone the students’ CV-writing skills. Daiane introduced the girls to the function, use and importance of this crucial document, often being ‘the key to a successful job search’, before the students filled in their own CV template, building their practical skills. 

Students continued to hone and apply their employability skills during the interviews workshop, run by Sandy Fliri-Max, an HR consultant for Epanouie Limited. During this session, students took part in mock-interviews with local employers. The questions were designed to capture real-life job interview experience, as students recounted examples of teamwork, times where they had to take responsibility or deal with a difficult situation, their strengths and weaknesses and proudest achievements. One girl recounted how pursuing flamenco dancing outside of school demonstrated her coordination and determination. Another looked back on school team-building events to illustrate her ability to work well with others. The employers reported that they were so impressed with the students at interview that they would have offered many of them the job. One student said that

‘It helped me understand how to make conversion flow and how to be confident.’ 

Rich Wainwright from the Centre for Business Excellence delivered a workshop on decision-making, covering a range of practical and motivational topics. The group discussed different types of learning, the impact of surroundings and peer groups on students, and how best to prioritise. At the end of the class, students reflected on what they found most valuable from the session, with many singling out the idea of ‘self-management’ -- that prioritising is less about ‘time management’ than deciding how best to manage yourself and what you choose to do.  

John Dow from PwC, which provides clients with service and advice in assurance, tax and advisory services, provided a comprehensive introduction to apprenticeships and higher education. His presentation outlined a range of options for graduate course and life after university, including PwC’s leading graduate business programme, the ‘flying start’ degree programmes in accounting and technology, and other graduate schemes. 

The employers were impressed by the girls’ confidence, noting that the students were keen and enthusiastic, well-spoken and engaged. The students were equally complimentary, with one reporting

 ‘I would recommend this activity because I learnt a lot about the options open to me, like how to do important things like CVs and interviews.’ 

They carry these skills and messages with them into the next years of their school lives and beyond.  

To find out more about the careers at St Mary’s, follow this link.  

You can view a gallery of pictures from the day here