Employability insight for local students
When the Head of Sixth form at St George’s School, Edgbaston, spoke to us about a year 10
employability week we jumped at the chance to get involved. The school’s idea of dedicating a
week to providing pupils with valuable career skills, to helping them figure out what they want to do
and then mapping out how to get there was right up our street.
So, we set about designing a day that would round off their action packed week on a high. We’ll
admit to a little waiver in confidence upon reading that we were following the Royal Marines. But,
what we lack in cargo nets and big shouty voices we definitely make up for in engineering
excellence and employability insight.
We work with enough young people to know that variety and interaction are a must. So, we
designed a series of activities to keep them active and engaged. Think employability circuit training
in High-Vis jackets and big black boots. The Marines have nothing on us!
1. Work together, reduce waste
The simulated work environment (SWE), lead by LEMA trainer Paul Barron was a hands-on
exercise with plenty of teamwork and problem solving. Here pupils worked on a Kanban system to
assemble wooden cars. The learning outcomes for this exercise were the importance of teamwork,
the general concept of LEAN (speed, efficiency and zero waste) and how both apply to any role.
“ This is all about working as a team and the impact of just one mistake in a single part of
production.” Luis, future Marine
2. Interview like an expert
During our interview skills section pupils and staff put themselves in the shoes of the employer.
Focussing on first impressions, confidence and preparation, they were asked to choose their
winning candidate from a series of video interviews. Lead by our Employer Liaison Executive, Liz
Bailey, the session incorporated analysis, reasoning, open discussion and got everyone up and
voting with their feet.
“ Honesty is the most important thing in an interview. Honesty and being yourself” Halle
3. Careers advice & road-mapping
Here the students were given the opportunity to ask questions, glean professional advice and start
planning their own career pathway. Strong relationships with local businesses enabled us to offer
the students 1-2-1 interviews with professionals in fields spanning finance, law, recruitment,
engineering and childcare.
“Today has really opened my eyes to apprenticeships, I didn’t realise they were this good. I would
get skills, experience and be earning money at the same time” Zahid
After a jam packed day, the students left with wealth of knowledge, new skills and the start of a
plan to help them achieve their career dreams. And, whilst some confirmed their dreams others
discovered alternative options to investigate.
From the feedback we received, it seems that we managed to hold our own against the Marines,
the Crown Court and all the other fabulous activities they experienced over the course of the week.
They were a great bunch of students, an absolute credit to St George’s and we look forward to our
next school event.