Students explore career options in industries facing skills shortage

Thursday, January 16, 2020


Promising students from across the Rochford District are taking part in an interactive programme which aims to set them on the right career path, by working directly with leaders from the business community.

Students from Greensward Academy, The Sweyne Park School and The King Edmund School are being given the opportunity to learn about four industries which are currently facing a shortage of young talent - in the fields of construction, engineering, creative digital and health/the NHS.

The programme, commissioned by Rochford District Council and delivered by The Enterprise in Education Partnership, provides eye-opening experiences to students in years 8 and 9 who are on the cusp of choosing their GSCE options.

This year, the following businesses have created workshops to share their expertise:

BT have provided a team of experts to give students the opportunity to experience first-hand some exciting digital technology that will transform the way we do things. They donned VR headsets and were able to take part in a training session for new surgeons, as well as using an app which enabled them to step through a virtual door and immerse themselves in a football match.

IPECO, a world leader in aircraft crew seating, operating across a wide range of market sectors. They are offering students a workshop involving interactive tasks designed to inspire them to enter the world of engineering.

NHS – As one of the biggest employers, this workshop was designed to help students understand the range of employment opportunities within this sector as well as the many different Apprenticeships available to them across all sectors.  

Anderson Group – One of the UK’s leading contractors in the development industry and leading residential developer, they are showing students the opportunities within the field of construction. Their workshop involves setting groups a budget of £40m and tasking them with designing their own village.

Greensward Academy student Neeve Simpson said: “I really enjoyed it because it showed me different subjects I didn’t think I would’ve liked, and I learned about apprenticeships and how they fit in with different jobs, and what people have got out of them. I’m interested in forensic science and I think it’s given me a different outlook on it.”

Joe Patey, also a Greensward Academy student, said: “It’s helped because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do; it’s helped me to not go down the wrong path with choosing my career. I’m interested in finance and I’ve learned it’s transferrable to other industries.”

Sue Elliot, Director of The Enterprise in Education Partnership, said: “The business partners supporting this programme are all dedicated to supporting young people as they embark on their different career paths.
“Understanding the choices that are available to them will help the students make informed decisions that will impact on their future. These business partners have given up many hours of their time to plan an exciting and informative programme for the students and we are very grateful to them. “

Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Enterprise, Cllr Simon Wootton, said: “The students who take part in this innovative programme will be offered the unique opportunity to learn more about the different career sectors locally where skill gaps are evident, and the apprenticeship opportunities on offer.
“I would like to thank the key business partners who have taken part, giving our young people a better understanding of the different opportunities in these sectors and different paths to achieving their career goals. I wish the students all the best in their future careers.”