Careers Champion: Working Adviser meets finalist Julie Poppleton
In a series of mini-blogs to mark the 7th Careers Champion award, Working Adviser gets to know finalist Julie Poppleton – Head of CEIAG at Chase Terrace Technology College
WA: Tell us a bit about your background and current Careers role.
JP: My career history has been in various roles & sectors including private, education & training and the voluntary sector. These have ranged from Retail and Customer Services to working with Young Offenders, Long term unemployed adults, homeless young people, behavioural units, detached outreach work and Connexions.
I was employed just over 4 years ago as a Head of Department within Secondary Education at Chase Terrace Technology College under the Stephen Sutton Multi Academy Trust. I am Head of CEIAG (Careers, Employability, Information, Advice and Guidance) with wide ranging responsibilities. I am a level 6 qualified & impartial careers practitioner.
WA: What is the most rewarding part of working in Careers?
JP: Having now gone into my 5th year, I am interviewing Year 11 students who have experienced our full 5 year careers framework. It is so rewarding to hear feedback about the positive impacts of this on their aspirations and awareness of Post 16 and Post 18 options. They have more awareness of routes and paths , what is the right path for them and why, how does this link to their subjects, the labour market, enterprise and employability and what resources are out there to support with their research.
WA: How is Careers work changing and what does the future hold?
JP: The world of careers has changed dramatically since the sad demise of most of the Careers Services with the cuts in government funding . I was extremely lucky to be employed by a school who were forward thinkers who valued and understand the impact of good careers education. I have been on a personal mission to drive this agenda forward within both the business and educational sectors. I can now see a real swing this year, appetite and interest is growing again. The value, importance and impacts of a good careers education is now being more widely discussed and published in the press and social media. This is wonderful to see but there is still a lot of work to be done in wider schools nationally. I strongly feel collaboration is the key and the way forward. Schools must have wider engagement with employers to ensure they are meeting the skills gap agenda and are up to date with the labour market and more collaboration between schools would be mutually beneficial.
WA: Finally, what was your reaction when you were confirmed as a Careers Champion finalist?
JP: When I read the email by jaw literally dropped and I was silent for a few minutes I actually thought it was spam email ! Then I saw the names of the very kind people who had nominated me and realised it was real so then I felt a sense of gratitude. Once I had re-read the email a few times I felt very humbled and I felt a sense of pride.