Previously at Phoenix Park Academy careers were rarely talked about and the only option considered for post 16 was College. This began to change after we reviewed our careers offer in line with the statutory guidance and careers strategy and we appointed a very keen and proactive member of staff to the role of Careers Leader.
The first step for the Careers Leader, was to undertake an audit of activity alongside the First Compass self-evaluation tool. Our next step was to ensure businesses/parents and staff knew that careers would be a big part of the Academy ethos and would soon be an integral part of the curriculum and a whole staff responsibility. We set up a Careers Twitter account to establish a visible presence and keep people up to date with what was happening in the Academy and how they could get involved. It is also a key tool to be able to link to businesses and local initiatives.
As part of the Academy’s commitment to the Careers and Enterprise Company’s Enterprise Adviser Network and more recently inclusion in the Humber Careers Hub, the Academy has been allocated an Enterprise Adviser from Engie, who are a leading energy and services group employing 17,000 people in the UK, across three main activities: Energy, Services & Regeneration. Engie currently deliver services on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council and have a large workforce in the local community. Phil McConnell is the Deputy Partnership Director at Engie and works strategically with the Academy to shape provision for the young people. Already, there are plans in place for Engie to provide work placements to students and members of Engie staff to talk to students about their role and how they got into areas such as electrical engineering, town planning, finance, accounts and many more.
Phil McConnell, Deputy Partnership Director at Engie said ‘I am extremely proud and excited to continue my work as an Enterprise Advisor at Phoenix Park Academy and be a part of this valuable programme, as it gives me a sense of personal satisfaction to be helping young people consider how they will progress once they have left full time education. I also recognise the great advantage to business and industry to ensure that we help Phoenix Park Academy and their students to understand which skills, attitudes and behaviours are really important to us that will complement their academic achievements when they enter the workplace. We cannot expect schools to do this alone and must become involved if we are to expect the future workforce to contribute fully’
Throughout the year we run Mock Interview Days, visits to businesses, industry days, and guest speakers to talk about their role and work placements.
There is now a real buzz around the Academy regarding careers and careers being mentioned and talked about on a daily basis with students wanting to be involved and asking for support in how to make their steps to post 16!
Since the start of this academic year, we have been working hard with our Enterprise Adviser and using the networks we have established across the Humber region to not only support our achievement of the Gatsby Benchmarks, but to improve students’ understanding of their post 16 options what opportunities are available to them in their community and life after school. With each Compass evaluation (internal audit of our offer) we are seeing improvements in each area, which is being recognised by our students in school and also at a national level.
Within the past month, Park House has been recognised and praised nationally for providing an excellent service for our learners and preparing them for lifer after school.
Lucy Gray, Enterprise Coordinator for the Humber LEP wrote: ‘I just wanted to share with you that have been to two large events recently where your Academy has been used as an example to hundreds of guests in the audience.
I attended some National Training last week in London where Abdul Bathin (Regional Lead –NE & Midlands) commented on his visit to Park House earlier this year. He spoke to the audience around how his visit had really made him appreciate the work you are doing around careers and the difference it is making to you & your students.
Yesterday evening I attended the Northern Powerhouse Energy Gala Dinner, Nina Stobart, External Communications & Public Affairs Lead spoke about Park House and the work she is doing with yourselves. This event was attended by many key business stakeholders, a really great arena to be spoken about so positively’
Student (Ben Wellings) said ‘I never thought I would get opportunities like this, and definitely not at mainstream. I have had industry days at Cranswick Foods working in their product development department and also at Healing Manner. The support has been amazing and I have grown in confidence and am excited to start my further education at a local college.’
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