Tag Archives: work

Year 8 work shadowing

All year 8 students will be participating in our “Work shadowing” for three days (Sunday 7th to Tuesday 9th December inclusive.) During these days they will be going to work with either parent, or with another trusted adult if their parent approves (there will be no lessons or school provision and all students will be expected to participate.) The progamme is run by Mr. Wright, the head of year 8. If you missed Mr. Wright’s original letter, you can find a copy on the Work shadowing page. Future relevant materials will be posted here too including, shortly, some suggestions for parents as to how to make the experience most beneficial to your son / daughter.

Work shadowing is the new first step in our programme of enabling students to understand, prepare for and access the world of work. It has become increasingly important to have a clear idea about work routes, for the following reasons:

  • the job market is far more competitive than it once was, including for those who have degrees and “higher level” skills sets
  • universities are more expensive than ever and likely to rise in cost further still, so a change of mind becomes very costly
  • it is becoming the norm / minimum requirement to have work experience as soon as possible (in some industries, to avoid interning for free for years after graduating)

So we want students to have a multi-stage experience of the world of work, which looks like this:

  1. Year 8: three-day Work shadowing with a parent to give a brief initial introduction.
  2. Year 10: two-week intensive Work experience with one or (usually) two different companies.
  3. Year 12/13: extended internships competitively available (programme to be launched soon) for a handful of students, part-time and lasting several weeks.

Taken together, this “ladder” gives students an excellent and ever-deeper understanding of work in context, and should make university and future career choices better-informed.

Keep an eye on the Work shadowing page for more details!

Review: recent careers posts (The Independent)

There’s been some nice career-related articles in The Independent in recent months, with an interesting range of topics. Many have chimed with issues discussed before on this blog, or reaffirmed points made here.

Firstly, there’s this article on the benefits of studying outside of the UK – although the event is refers to is in the past, look at the points about how to seek decent opportunities and be open-minded about other options when considering universities. And whilst a university degree remains the most safe, predictable and assured route to career success, here’s an interesting view about why not going onto a degree might be the making of you.

Several interesting articles come together to help you reflect on the sudden huge hike in fees at UK universities, and whether this makes degrees worthwhile (or even accessible) any more. Maybe start with an article from 2010 where the universities minister talked about wanting more online degrees (i.e. not attending the university) – is this embracing a new digital age or just a cop-out with cheap degrees worth less than “real” ones? Once you’re paying more, of course, you can be a bolshier customer, so the question of whether students are getting value for fees money comes up. One way universities are starting to try to draw the best is by offering fees reductions to the best A-level performers – I’m tempted to¬†predict more and more of this will happen. The best grades might soon not just mean the best places but also the cheapest fees. Meanwhile, universities look like they’re starting to withdraw co-operation with FE colleges in order to make students take only full fee-paying courses – reducing choice and opportunity for some students, particularly those at the weaker academic end. You might think this unfair – or perhaps you take the view that university places should be limited, and only for those who aim high, work hard and compete for limited places at good institutions?

Finally, higher fees (which have already savaged application numbers nationally in the UK) means the death-knell for courses which aren’t popular. For some commentators this means good riddance to worthless degrees and good news for students – but in the age of the mindlessly narrow and pointlessly¬†traditionalist EBacc, does this mean we’re cutting “new” style courses – IT, service industry, media courses – on which the future western economy depends? And will students have to go further to study the degree they want – at more cost to them?