Local Students Prepare for their Careers

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Staff from the LPTIP (Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme) project recently took part in a series of workshops at the Co-operative Academy, run in conjunction with with local social enterprise Ahead Partnership.

The workshops, designed to the help pupils plan for their GCSE subjects and future career goals, were facilitated by senior project manager Peter Dawson (pictured) ​and senior planner Andy Foster.

The academy has around 1,000 students from a range of different backgrounds. Its location in inner-city Leeds means that a diverse and multi-cultural range of students attended; some of them from families where their parents are third or fourth generation unemployed.

Careers, enterprise and NEET co-ordinator Jane Johnson is tasked with helping students to plan for their careers. She said:

“Many of our families struggle to offer careers support; it could be parents have had limited exposure to learning or that they might not know about the range of different jobs, and routes in to them, that exist. That’s why we really value local businesses coming and talking to our students to help them realise that there are endless opportunities for them.”

Peter said:

“The sessions were really interesting, and I’m impressed by how involved and knowledgeable the students were in my group. I began by introducing myself and giving a short overview about the path I took to becoming a project manager.”

Andy added:

“I spoke to my group about the different kinds of roles that are available in civil engineering and the wider world of work; there are many routes in to different sectors and while STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) are a solid foundation for many civil engineering roles, there’s also a place for creative skills such as English which could lead to roles in stakeholder engagement or communications.”

The small group sessions saw pupils explore what skills were needed for different jobs. Using flashcards, key subjects such as maths and PE were placed in a grid and students then had to think about the skills needed for those subjects and what jobs having qualifications in those subject areas might lead to. Peter even turned his hand to using different languages when he was asked to introduce himself in French by one of the students!

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