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Last week, we went to an event hosted by 16-18-year-olds doing everything they could to find a route into their chosen careers. There were sausage rolls provided, but more importantly, there were some insightful questions from the pupils and a whole lot of respect for them from us.
The event, established and run by pupils at Hendon School in Barnet, North West London, was called ‘Investing in our Futures’. The premise is simple; pupils decide what careers they’re interested in and look for companies in these industries. Representatives are invited to host a table, at which up to 10 pupils sit, chat, ask questions and get an insight into how they can make it.
“I found out that youth unemployment is a massive problem in Barnet, the London Borough that’s home to Hendon School. I also found out that the pupils are pioneering and much better behaved than you might expect when you get more than 200 16-18-year-olds in a room after school.”
In fact the number of 16-24-year-olds claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance in Hendon is falling – from 535 in May 2010, to 425 in January 2013[i]. The constituency’s MP, Matthew Orford, attributes the drop, at least in part, to Central Government’s apprenticeship scheme.
“I’m sure the Government’s scheme is having an impact. But having been part of Hendon School’s recent initiative, I really think the pioneering spirit of these sixth form students is playing a huge part.”
More than 20 companies attended
Other professionals were glad to be part of the event: a British Gas engineer, Tesco’s design director, a Geography lecturer from Queen Mary University in London’s Mile End, and an editor from Penguin Books, to name just a few.
Pupils asked practical questions like what to include in a cover letter, what degree to do and more. We offered a week’s work experience to a Hendon School pupil last year and are deciding how best to add value this time around. Watch this space for workshops, internships and working towards being part of National Apprenticeship Week 2015.
In honour of the importance of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week (3-7 March 2014), share this post and how you’re helping Britain’s youth using #CreativeApprentice