Cultivating Future Stars!
The government’s career strategy launch in 2017 has resulted in a surge of interest from schools and colleges to beef up their careers programmes and provision for students. Engaging young people with the world of work is a fundamental part of education and one which all schools and colleges should be driving anyway, not just because Ofsted will be showing more interest!
Students not only face many barriers when connecting with their future but many educational establishments have difficulty accessing a broad network of employers who can help inspire and raise the aspirations of a broad mix of students. Although there are an increasing number of schools with fantastic employer networks for their students to access, there is a huge disparity in provision across schools and colleges. In turn, this creates unequal access to opportunities and relies heavily on personal connections, rather than a level playing field and fair chance of social mobility.
Young people in the UK need to be able to connect to pathways between education and industry. The BBC recently reported that ‘careers lessons push up GCSE grades’ with research, on behalf of the Education and Employers charity stating:
‘Those pupils who had careers sessions with employers, and had seen the direct implications of their exams, were slightly more likely to exceed predicted GCSE grades’
‘Low achievers were particularly likely to be motivated, with 9% increase in their revision hours’
On Monday 13th May, globalbridge held our first #GBFutureStars event at North East Futures UTC, Newcastle. The purpose of this event was to connect employers with education and inspire young people through meaningful encounters across a range of career sectors. With 320 students from across 15 schools, we also had 22 outstanding employers from Virgin Money, Sage Group, Barclays and Siemens, to the Army, NHS and Kukri Sport. Young people were able to select specific breakout sessions of interest, not only creating a focused engagement, but also allowing room for plenty of questions. To further give visibility of alternative pathways, MP Catherine McKinnell, (co-chair of the cross parliamentary group for apprenticeships), sat on a panel with Newcastle and Sunderland University, UK Apprentice Network founder Sean Hawdon, and the Siemens apprentice of the year, Amy Mills. This was an amazing opportunity for the students and staff to hear both views on pathways available to young people and take questions from a very interested audience:
'91% of students said the careers information at #GBFutureStars was either ‘very useful’ of ‘extremely useful’
“It was inspirational” (Student)
The young people also had an amazing opportunity to hear Brad Burton, the UKs Number 1 motivational business speaker. Brad explained his personal story of how recognizing his strengths, as well as hard work and determination were pivotal in overcoming the odds to succeed, regardless of an incredibly tough start in life.
Not only did the event inspire young people to be future stars and raise their aspirations, it gave them direct access to experts from industry. With breakout sessions such as: ‘using video selfies in applications’ (Virgin Money), ‘Siemens STEM challenge – can you build a rollercoaster’, and ‘Becoming your best through leadership and teamwork’ (Army), students had first-hand experience of the challenges young people need to overcome to succeed in their chosen field.
“A chance to experience the world of work first hand can play a huge part in helping young people develop the skills and personal qualities they need for workplaces” (Damien Hinds, Education Secretary, BBC, 17th May, 2019)
globalbridge and events like Future Stars bring students several steps closer to opportunities and thus a chance for a successful future. It also enables employers to engage with education and future talent in a way which currently doesn’t exist. globalbridge has facilitated 3,402 employer engagements for young people in the last month and is set to match this between now and the end of the school term. The North East is therefore making huge steps forward in digitally connecting pathways between education and industry.
3,402 employer engagements in 4 weeks!!
“a young person who has 4 or more encounters with an employer is 86% less likely to be unemployed" (Research: Education & Employers Taskforce)
‘The purpose of globalbridge is to recognize that every student has the opportunity for a successful future. We want to draw out the gold in all young people and inspire them, not only to realise they have the potential, but to also give them the direction, connections and tools to get to where they want to be’ (Ben Mason, Founder & CEO, globalbridge.)
As part of our vision to give young people every opportunity and pathways to succeed, we launched a GBFutureStars entrepreneur’s competition. This was kindly sponsored by the Power of 5, NBS, Cundall, Muckle LLP and People Science and will see students given the chance to challenge themselves, potentially winning some fantastic prizes. The finals day will be hosted by Muckle LLP.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Paul Lancaster and Newcastle Startup Week for allowing us to collaborate with Day 1 of startup week, as well as North East Futures, UTC for hosting. We had some outstanding sponsors on the day. Thank you to Barclays, TTE Training, Stkrs and WBC Bags for Life.