Franklin College opens innovative careers centre with grant from Santander

Franklin College, winners of the Santander Career Ready Centre of the Year Award in 2015, have developed a brand new “Career Destinations Centre” with their £5,000 prize money from Santander.

As well as being a place where students can go to get careers information, advice and guidance, the college will run a weekly working lunch, where employer volunteers will visit the Destination Centre to speak about their profession, progression routes in their industry, entry requirements and potential opportunities for work experience.

Emma Swinburn, Career Ready Coordinator at Franklin College, said: “Previously our students were only able to access a one-to-one session with a Careers Advisor at college, but now they are able to meet local professionals and access the most up-to-date careers information. Students will be able to build their employability and networking skills as well as their confidence.  

“The Destination Centre is a great resource and benefits the whole college as well as our Career Ready students.” 

The centre is home to a number of resources for students, including prospectuses from all universities, employability guides, information about current job vacancies locally and apprenticeship opportunities. 

Students interested in going to university are able attend a mock interview with a professional or university staff member and drop in sessions are available for students who need advice about their personal statement. 

Abbie Cheater, a STEM Career Ready student at the college, said: “I attended a working lunch with a representative from the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board.  She gave a really good overview of working within the engineering and construction industry and I found this particularly useful as I am considering a career within civil engineering.  

“I really enjoyed the way the working lunch was structured as it was a small and informal group, which made me feel at ease and I was happy to ask questions.”  

The Destination Centre will also host Career Ready mentor meetings so that mentors and students can browse the resources hosted in the room.

Charlotte Prescott, Senior Associate at PWC, said: “I enjoyed talking to a small group of students who appeared to be genuinely interested in a career in accounting.
“I liked the informal approach to the working lunch session, as the students were at ease and felt they were able to ask questions. It was a real pleasure to come and meet them.”

This year, we have worked with Santander to launch a new Employability Champion Award, which recognises a Coordinator in a school or college who has excelled in the running of their Career Ready programme, going above and beyond the requirements of the role to act as an ambassador for employer engagement.

Six regional winners will receive £250 in John Lewis gift vouchers. The overall UK winner will have one-to-one mentoring for a year by an employee from Santander, and will also be given £5,000 for their centre – to be used in the development of their Career Ready programme.

For more information and to nominate your Coordinator click here.