Employer supporters from the Local Advisory Board at West Derby School in Liverpool attended the school’s parents’ evenings in October to speak directly to parents, as well as young people, about the Career Ready Logistics programme – the first to launch in the UK.
Representatives from Broadspire, Eddie Stobarts, Merseytravel, North West Education & Training, JPS Supply Chain and Career Ready attended the event for the first time after the school launched their Logistics themed programme in 2014.
Kate Forrest, Assistant Headteacher and Career Ready Coordinator, said: “We are looking to encourage a real dialogue between the world of work and parents so that we increase the chances of students being better informed about what jobs and opportunities are available to them.
“Through the Career Ready programme, we are proud of the relationships we have built between education and business and appreciate that the communication between us is vital in making things happen for our students. We feel it is time now to explore how building in the relationship with parents and the home could enhance and extend these opportunities further.”
Parents had the opportunity to speak to the employers, find out more about the careers they offer and the opportunities students can receive by joining the Career Ready programme. As a number of the employers are also currently mentors, parents were able to gain first hand knowledge of the programme and the support the students will receive.
Andrew Drewary, Road Risk Manager at Broadspire and Chair of the West Derby School LAB, said: “It was great to see a number of parents showing great interest in what we are doing. Those who I spoke to were very surprised at the range of career opportunities available. They welcomed the fact that we were working with the school and doing something different to promote careers that they didn’t know about.
“It was also really good to hear from a number of parents of students on the programme that they had seen massive development in their own children.”
One of the parents was Matthew Boden, whose son completed his internship with Virgin Trains this summer. Matthew said: “Having seen my son grow in confidence, together with the enjoyment he took from every visit to a workplace and his own internship with Virgin Trains, I can only say that the Career Ready programme is superb for getting students on the cusp of university and giving them another option.
“While University has its own obvious benefits, the course you can take through the Career Ready programme, and following onto apprenticeships and advanced apprenticeships, is a great alternative – and in my opinion one that should be given as much thought by students as they give University.
“To get the opportunity to see how businesses work first hand and then to present to your peers about your experiences, for my son, has been a very worthwhile opportunity and one that will hopefully help him make decisions about his own future.”
Steve Bridge, Career Ready Lead Regional Manager for the North, said: “Parents play a vital role in supporting their children to make the crucial decisions about their next steps after school and we know they often have a significant influence on those decisions. Just as we do with our young people, we want parents to have all the information they need about the various different paths available after school – from university to apprenticeships and straight into full-time employment – so that they can help ensure their child picks the best route for them.
“Hearing directly from the employers, who can explain all the different recruitment channels they use themselves, was a fantastic idea and the event was a huge success. Next time we want to engage with parents of students in years 10 and 11 so that we can help them to understand post-16 options and also provide more information on Career Ready before their child gets to sixth form."