Karl Richardson is 19 years old and a graduate of the Career Ready programme at St Chad's Catholic and Church of England High School in Cheshire.
He chose the increasingly popular avenue of ‘earning as you learn’ and went on to do a Year in Industry with Sci-Tech Daresbury Laboratory after he graduated from school.
The Year in Industry scheme, offered by the EDT (Engineering Development Trust), provides paid career development work placements for students interested in all areas of engineering, science, IT, e-commerce, business, marketing, finance and logistics.
He believes the Career Ready programme gave him an advantage: “It gave me a platform of knowledge, which in turn helped me achieve a placement from which I benefitted massively.”
Karl joined the Career Ready because it “provided the relevant experience and guidance necessary to help me enter the world of work confidently.” He was partnered with another student and together they were mentored by two senior managers at O2 in Edinburgh and Preston Brook. They provided him with key advice regarding the next steps in his career as well as helping him with interview techniques to make him stand out from the crowd.
He went on to complete a two-week internship at O2. “I believe the programme was vital in increasing my confidence and understanding of the business world, which ultimately broadened my outlook on my future.”
When Karl passed his exams, he faced the big question, “What next?” He wanted to get some real world experience, which led to him applying for the Year in Industry, initially with the intention to go on to
university the following year. However, during his placement at the Sci-Tech Daresbury Laboratory in Warrington, he quickly realised that learning through working suited him best, with the added bonus of a monthly wage.
“It was massively beneficial as it offered me the opportunity to work with one of the leading science and technology research councils in the country and work within a complex, highly skilled scientific computing department.”
Karl intends to continue at the Daresbury Laboratory, gaining more experience in difference working environments. He is a prime example of the many different opportunities and career paths available in the STEM sector and Career Ready are working closely with many initiatives including STEMNET, Headstart, Tomorrow’s Engineers and the Your Life campaign, to raise the profile of STEM careers.