A soundbite from our Let's Do Business speakers in Teesside

Jake Clayton, former Career Ready student at Prior Pursglove College:

“When I started at college I had no clear direction. I knew I was interested in business but I wasn’t sure if university was the right path for me. My internship at Yorkshire Bank gave me a real experience of work, helping me to develop the confidence to present to all of you today. My mentor, also from Yorkshire Bank, supported me to gain clarity and direction and I realised I could go to university – I’ve just completed my degree at the University of Teesside. I was given an amazing step up in my career and I want other young people in Teesside to have the same opportunities.”


Anne Spackman, Chief Executive of Career Ready:

“This event is very timely as Ofsted updated their inspectorate framework on Tuesday. There are two key elements that they look for under careers and employability – that students are choosing relevant subjects for careers in their area, and that schools and colleges are helping students to gain an awareness of what the local job market looks like. The schools and colleges we work with use the Career Ready programme as evidence that they are meeting those requirements.”


Ben Hugill, Career Ready student at Prior Pursglove College:

“Having a business mentor, Ray Harrison from Barclaycard, gave me a great insight into not only careers in finance but also the general skills I need when applying for jobs. I met with Ray every three weeks and he helped me to develop an action plan, as well as supporting me with writing my CV and cover letters. He applied his knowledge to my situation and motivated me to work harder in my studies.”


Rebecca Maude, Career Ready student from Prior Pursglove College:

“My six week internship at Yorkshire Bank was an amazing experience, I got a proper understanding of what working life is really like – from having to travel there and make sure I was punctual every day, to handling money and working on the front desk. I was quite a shy person before but it gave me the confidence to apply for finance apprenticeships. It also gave me a great talking point in interviews.”



Vicky McDermott, Career Ready Coordinator at Prior Pursglove College:

“I am very proud to see my amazing students come up here and speak to all of you with such confidence and glowing praise for our business supporters. It sums up the importance of employer engagement and what a difference it can make to a young person’s life. I am passionate about that and working with local employers is really important so that we can understand what their requirements are for future employees and make sure our students develop the skills they need.”


Steve Foster, Training and Recruitment Manager at Yorkshire Bank and Chair of the Local Advisory Board at Prior Pursglove College: 

“I got involved with Career Ready seven years ago because I wanted to give something back to the local community and I wanted to work with a college with a great reputation. For me it’s a chance to share my experiences, develop my own skills and I get a real buzz from working with the students and seeing them transform in confidence and attitude. For Yorkshire Bank, the programme provides the perfect way to fulfil our promise “We care about here” and break down barriers so that we can develop relationships with more young members of our community.”


Alex Fau-Goodwin, Principal at Hartlepool Sixth Form College:

“Employer engagement programmes like Career Ready are transformational for students. Whether they are working with local SMEs or large blue chip companies, it helps them to aspire to be successful. We have seen a marked shift in their approach to studies – from better time-keeping to meeting deadlines – and they often go on to be ambassadors not just for the College but also for the employers with whom they engage.”


Caroline Mason, Consumer Services Partnership Manager at the Skills Funding Agency:

"The National Careers Service is keen to work with schools across England to raise the inspiration and aspiration of its learners through partnerships  and brokerage with employers. We have a range of resources including more than 800 job profiles, a CV builder and independent careers advice and guidance through telephone and web chat, along with dedicated National Careers Service Inspiration Teams in the area. 

“The National Apprenticeship Service aims to raise the profile of apprenticeships and there are huge growth plans for the next Parliament. In particular, they now offer higher and degree apprenticeships so that students can train to be anything from a solicitor to a commercial airline pilot, while gaining work experience and without incurring tuition fees. Higher apprenticeships are a key way to deliver some of the skills needed to help Teesside prosper.”


Edwin Milligan, Deputy Head of Service at the National Careers Service:

“The National Careers Service across the North East, including Tees Valley, delivers three key themes around Supporting Inspiration for schools and employers – Engagement, Brokerage and Practice Leadership. We don’t aim to replace activities schools already have in place but we can support and enhance them. In particular, we have developed an online matching service to help schools identify employers who are interested in engaging with them to add value to their careers offer.”