Encounters with employers and employees
Employers and schools work together in creative ways to ensure students build a rich picture of the world of work and are well prepared to take up workplace opportunities. Schools provide first hand encounters with employers as part of careers and enterprise programmes for years 7 to 13 and celebrate these links in their prospectuses and on their websites. They build sustainable relationships with large and small employers and plan mentoring, careers talks, mock interviews, enterprise competitions and workplace visits. The encounters are well planned and help to increase student enthusiasm and confidence. The Gatsby Charitable Foundation has defined a meaningful encounter as ‘one in which a student has an opportunity to learn about what work is like or what it takes to be successful in the workplace.’ • Students should participate in at least one meaningful encounter with an employer every year between years 7-13. In years 7 and 8, the focus may be on exploring the student’s interests and motivations and developing a broad understanding of the world of work. In year 9, the focus may be on building aspirations and exploring career opportunities in more detail, including challenging stereotypes. Year 10 may be a time to address self-presentation and what employers want, while, in year 11, there is a practical focus on making plans and applications for post-16 learning. The post16 study programme should include structured work experience, volunteering and personal development. • Schools have strong and lasting links with local businesses, supported by the Enterprise Adviser. In some cases, links are sustained through the school’s governing body or fostered through programmes, such as Business Class from Business in the Community. Schools in rural areas or in regions where the local economy is under pressure rise to the challenge of developing a wide range of employer encounters. The contribution of Enterprise Advisers to the network is invaluable, building on the foundation of over 1,700 senior business leaders who have already volunteered to foster employer connections and offer strategic support to headteachers. • Schools and employers draw on evidence of what works including The Careers & Enterprise Company’s ongoing study of the evidence base for each activity. They focus on: • the different effects for different kinds of activities • the sequencing of these activities to ensure they are age appropriate and progressive • the importance of effective implementation including proper briefing and debriefing.