The CEIAG (Careers Education Information Advice Guidance) provision has been designed to positively support pupils to acquire the educational, social and employability skills necessary for lifelong success in a diverse and changing world of work. Our careers programme is developed in conjunction with our partners at Careers Inc. We have been awarded the Prospects Quality Award in CEIAG. This award recognises the high quality of the careers provision at the academy. The Prospects award meets the exacting validation criteria of the national Quality in Careers Standard and stands for 3 years.
All pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 take part in enterprise days. This is where pupils enjoy a day working in teams on a project developing skills that are essential within the work environment. Projects range from creating new business ideas to inventing new products. The teams pitch their ideas to a panel of judges who pick the winners. We have worked on these days with local companies as well as with Wakefield Council on real community projects such as how to regenerate the local town and giving the young people a real voice as part of their own community.
We work in partnership with Go Higher and the NCOP Scheme. The academy is funded to employ a 0.5 HEPO (Higher Education Progression Officer) who works closely with the 13 providers of Higher Education in West Yorkshire. This is to raise aspirations and awareness of Higher Education. It aims to help every young person in the cohort discover how university is within their grasp and support them to make considered and informed choices. This includes University trips, workshops and even residential opportunities to our partner college, Selwyn, at the University of Cambridge. The officer works with families as well as students and develops projects in the community that help pupils and families aspire to Higher Education. We recently completed a project with Wakefield District Housing and Engie and we are currently working with the Youth Club on the local housing estate.
Years 10 and 11 are invited to our Post 16 Market Place. This event is designed to motivate young people to think about prospective careers available to them and the relevant progression routes they can take to achieve their ‘Dream Job’. Exhibitors include a wide range of organisations for example Further Education providers, Sixth Form Colleges, Higher Education institutions and apprenticeship providers, as well as employers such as the armed forces and the NHS. We have also had the Go Higher mobile classroom attend the event to allow parents as well as students to experience what is on offer and to allow them to engage with the CEIAG process in an independent environment. All students in Year 10 visit at least 2 different FE providers as part of our curriculum offer, many attend 3.
Pupils in all year groups gain employer encounters through different events such as careers panels and open question assemblies with companies such as local energy supplier SSE. However, during careers week, we invite a wide range of employers to come into school from varied sectors to educate students about working life. Students are able to personalise their experiences and can opt into the career talks they feel is best suited for them. Talks are followed by Q and A sessions to deepen pupils’ understanding of each profession.
Assemblies and tutor time also support the CEIAG provision we offer. Assemblies sometimes include motivational speakers, for example Richard McCann who shared his tragic yet gripping story in becoming a successful adult after the most trying of childhoods.
All pupils are given one to one careers advice through meetings with our CEIAG partners, Careers Inc. The Careers Advisers are also available for drop in sessions during lunch times. Year 10 and Year 11 students are offered many opportunities to engage with post 16 providers. This includes participating in taster days at all the local colleges as well as assemblies and meet and greet sessions. This has assisted with the reduction of NEETs as students are making informed and logical decisions that are right for them. They are fully supported through the application process with Year 11 having a designated College Application day where they work with the independent CEIAG advisers, the English department and the Careers lead, to write a well-balanced personal statement before applying to their chosen post 16 providers.