Employability Week – Abbie Kelly Y12

Confused, frustrated and panicked. These are just some of the emotions you feel when your experience of Year 12 is coming to an end and suddenly, you have to make vital decisions about your future career and pathway that you will take to get there. Of course, one of the best ways to try and help students make this crucial career decision an informed decision is to give them the opportunity to speak to individuals who are currently working within the industry of their preference.

Fortunately for us, Rainford Sixth Form realised this and held an Employability Week; it was dedicated to helping us gain a clearer picture about which career path we would like to embark upon. StudyFlex set the bar high for the week as Jeff Moran and Mark Allen gave the students a presentation about transferable skills which are significant in every career. The day was filled with energy as they had the students taking part in informative but exciting activities such as showcasing teamwork by participating in ball games and group written work. The mock interview session also developed the students’ communication skills; Jeff and Mark taught us about the importance of tone and body language when in an interview which will be highly beneficial to those who are hoping to go to university or complete an apprenticeship.

The energy and enthusiasm did not end there as the students also enjoyed meeting Tim Quinn- a famous employee of Marvel Comics. Speaking about his personal experience, he inspired the students to pursue whatever career they wanted and also gave them the motivation and belief they needed to do so. One of the students told me afterwards that it was “lovely to meet such an enthusiastic man who really believed in us as students”. Not only this, his talk about how he became a very successful cartoon artist was very beneficial for students who are interested in art or design careers, as Tim gave them an idea of what they could expect their ‘typical day’ in work to look like.

The students also had the chance to hear from past students as Mark Hardy and Briony Machin both gave us an insight into their university experience. Elana Green, one of the students, said “it was nice to learn about two university experiences which differed so much as it made me think about which university experience I would prefer. Also, it helped me to make the decision about whether university was for me or not”. This wasn’t the only chance for students to gain an insight into university experience, as a representative of Edge Hill University gave a presentation about student finance which included information about fees, accommodation and student loans. This proved very useful and many students asked questions, showing their interest and willingness to make the most of Employability Week.

With so many students who all have different career interests, you would think that providing information which was useful to every individual would be hard. However, Rainford Sixth Form managed to find schemes which appealed to everyone. Digital media, marketing, policing, nursing, social work and the Army are just some of the professions which were represented throughout the week. Specific areas of interest within these industries were also represented such as midwifery and website development. Finance and business seemed popular-employers from Deloitte came to give a presentation about a ‘Bright Start Apprenticeship’ which many were impressed with. Scott Langley said that “the talk was very interesting and offered information on flexible pathways that the company offers. It also informed me that success can still be achieved without degree qualifications”.

The media sessions were also useful for many students thinking about going into the media industry as they were varied-giving students the chance to think about a specific career within the media industry. A student keen on digital marketing attended a session about website development; she spoke of how it gave her a deep insight into the career she wishes to pursue and that she was pleased to learn about what a typical day in the Marketing industry can consist of. Furthermore, Beth Langley, a student wanting a career in Animal Care, said that the “opportunities available at Knowsley Safari Park sounded great and the session made me even more passionate about working with animals in the future”.

Rainford Sixth Form have delivered another successful Employability Week, and I hope the College continues to make this an annual event for Year 12 students as it is the perfect opportunity for students to make decisions about their career options, reducing the stress of the intense second year. As we break up for summer, we feel well informed about our career opportunities, leading to a happier summer break and a more successful future at Sixth Form and beyond.