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Teenagers from Aylward Academy in Edmonton get a career education
Teenagers hoping to find jobs in business, IT and the media were given a career boost when they took part in a day of events organised by their school.
More than 40 students from Aylward Academy spent the day at Millfield House, in Silver Street, Edmonton, where they heard from motivational and guest speakers and had the chance to find out more about a number of career paths open to them.
Aylward, in Windmill Lane, has been holding career days for its students for more than three years, offering vocational support to those who have enrolled on BTEC courses after their GCSEs.
The courses students can enrol on include Cisco IT Essentials, business enterprise, child development and sport, and the Silver Arts Award.
The careers education programme, organised by the Enterprise in Education Partnership, saw guest speakers address the students, who also took part in question and answer sessions as they sought to find out more about their chosen industries.
Guests included Steve Beckles, a motivational speaker from Serious Intentions; Darwin Bernardo from Nutmeg; Ben Underwood from Fusion Lifestyle at Edmonton Leisure Centre; Jon Penn from media firm Spinning Hat; Umar Javed from Just IT; arts training firm Tiger Monkey; and Michael Pickard, deputy group editor of the Times and Independent Series.
Desiree Hooper, operation lead for community, employability and training at Aylward, said: “Not all students want to take the academic route. We’re giving them a headstart in terms of employability. Regardless of exam results, employers want to see evidence of their experience of the world.
“Academics are still important because that’s what gets you though the door. Then your skills and experience take you that next step further. Vocational skills like these put more meat on the bones and show evidence of their experience."
Havva Ali, vocational hub coordinator at Aylward, added: “One student has gone onto an apprenticeship at Aylward on an IT course and some have gone on to higher courses at the school. Some have also gone back to their placements for further training.”
At Aylward, pupils also have to learn work skills alongside their academic studies, to help improve their employability, and by the end of October, each student will be assigned a work placement for one day a week. They also take part in the Young Enterprise programme.
Sally Hinkins, from the Enterprise in Education Partnership, said: “The day was quite interesting because the students don’t communicate easily with new people but as the sessions went on, we noticed they started asking more questions and grew in confidence.”
Ms Hooper added: “We’re so grateful to Enterprise in Education. Our business guests gave up their time. They see our students as the future and really want to help them. It’s great that we have got business people who are the best and are prepared to do that.”
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