19 May 2017

They took part in a special ‘CareerZone’ event at The Parks Sports Centre, which was all about introducing pupils to the world of work through practical workshops led by real industry experts.

The interactive day was supported by Lord Sainsbury’s Gatsby Foundation, which aims to encourage social mobility through inspirational careers guidance. 

Six different job sectors were showcased, including skills and trade, education and uniformed services, STEM-related careers, business and health and wellbeing, with each session offering pupils the chance to master a skill from each field.

The hands-on nature of each session gave pupils the opportunity to get a real insight into each career and gain some meaningful experience of the work involved.

Pupils from Churchill Community College also got to take part.

David Baldwin, Executive Headteacher at Norham High School and Churchill Community College, said: “We wanted to offer our Year 8 pupils a careers fair experience that would really engage, inspire and motivate them. By taking part in meaningful, work-related challenges as part of the event, the pupils have been able to get a much better feel for what each career path might entail, as well as skills to take away.

“I know that our pupils have really enjoyed this event, and we’re extremely grateful to the employers and partners who’ve given up their time to support the development of young people.”

The event was organised by the North Tyneside Learning Trust, as part of their ongoing World of Work (WOW) project, in collaboration with Norham High School and Churchill Community College. Churchill Community College is a Gatsby Foundation pilot school and secured the funding for the event.

Ryan Gibson from the Gatsby Foundation, said: “Good career guidance is really important for social mobility because it helps open pupils’ eyes to careers they may not have considered. If young people and their families know more about the rich range of careers open to people with the right qualifications and skills, they will have a clearer idea of the routes to more and better jobs. Employers are a crucial part of this process, inspiring young people about working life, showcasing interesting and exciting opportunities that exist and allowing young people to gain an insight into careers they may be interested in the future. Multiple meaningful encounters with employers, combined with first hand experiences of workplaces, are the best way to help young people build a rich and accurate picture of the skills needed to succeed in the world of work.”

The North Tyneside Learning Trust’s World of Work (WOW) project brings together North Tyneside schools and employers to enhance careers guidance and inspire and motivate pupils.

Industry and business partners who took part in the day included Barclays Bank, Accenture, Dove Marine Laboratory, Nexus, Northumbria Police, TyneMet College, Hay and Kilner Sollicitors, Kier, St John’s Ambulance, Unipres and more.

Wallsend-based engineering firm SMD were one of the industrial partners involved. Chloe Hopper, HR Manager said: “We are delighted to have been able to take part in the CareerZone event, it is important for us at SMD to be able to give something back to the community and to inspire the next generation of engineers.”