WA: Tell us a bit about your background and current Careers role.
SL: I came into Teaching as my second career after having my first in a large international organisation where I had the opportunity to work in my different parts of the business. I think this has really helped within the careers role, at Steyning Grammar School, as having worked outside of a school setting I am able to advise students knowledgably on their career choices. My current role allows me the opportunity to work with students from Year 7 – 13 with particular emphasis on the transition points in Year 8, 11 and 13. I particularly work in Year 13 with students who are looking for apprenticeships and give 1 – 1 support on CV writing, interview skills and possible job opportunities, including setting up a Google Classroom so they can easily access information. This 1 – 1 support is also given to Year 11 students as to their next steps whether this be into an apprenticeship, college or 6th Form.
WA: What is the most rewarding part of working in Careers?
SL: For me personally, this job brings enormous rewards as each year I see students moving on into jobs and apprenticeships that they find rewarding and setting off on their own career journey. There is nothing I like better then Alumni students returning to the school and sharing their experiences with new students.
WA: How is Careers work changing and what does the future hold?
SL: The careers role is changing as the increase in apprenticeships, in particular degree apprenticeships, is likely to see a shift in those wanting to move onto traditional universities. In addition to this I feel that we need to truly understand and advise on the landscape of labour market information as students need to be considering where the gaps in the labour market are.
WA: Finally, what was your reaction when you were confirmed as a Careers Champion finalist?
SL: I have been very fortunate to be in a school where the careers work that I and my colleague do is valued I was totally shocked and thrilled to be recognised for my contributions and want to publicly thank my nominee.