National Careers Week 2023 – Careers for all with Bristol WORKS!
Wow – what a week National Careers Week (NCW) 2023 was! It was bigger and better than ever – Bristol WORKS led a massive 2,013 experiences of work across a jam-packed five days! We could not have done this without our diverse range of supportive, incredible employers, who really bought the world of work to light this week for learners, including 254 experiences for learners with additional needs. It would take a whole book to tell you about every single exciting work session! So, here is a quick sneak peak of some of the work activities that went down…
On Monday, we had the amazing Helen from Clear Channel at Ashton Park with a class of Year 8’s learning all about careers in advertising and the future of media. Students excitedly and creatively designed their own ice cream flavours and poster campaigns – showing how to hook an audience and make your adverts pop! We also kickstarted our two week work experience programme at Ravenswood, including finding out about all things studio and film with an online reverse interviewing session with Bottle Yard Studios and our incredible delivery partner Sixteen!
Sixteen delivered multiple reverse interview sessions over the week – a super insightful way of learning about work, by asking those doing the jobs – these engaged various schools including Ravenswood, Kingsweston, Knowle DGE and BANES Hospital Education. We were joined by Arca who shared all about their dog-walking business, how many dogs they can walk at the same time, some of the challenges (picking up lots of poo!) and the different kit they need to do the job.
Planting lots of tasty vegetables and getting our gardener on was part of Tuesday’s fun, with New Fosseway students weeding and sowing seeds – ready for harvesting in several months’ time. Green (and muddy!) fingers all round, as learners got to grips with planting and correctly labelling their veg, and using all the tools of the trade!
Wednesday was filled to the virtual brim with digital sessions – we are grateful for the excellent engagement from Year 9 learners from John Cabot, Kings Oak, Bristol Met, Winterstoke, Broadoak, Bristol Brunel, Hans Price & Hanham Woods (especially those brave enough to come up the webcam to ask questions!). Ranging from healthcare to wildlife, interactive virtual experiences of work were delivered by employers from the NHS, University of Bristol, Ashton Gate, Clear Channel, Avon Wildlife Trust, Clayton Hotel, Waste Source, Hill, Waitrose, Wilmore Iles, Bristol Old Vic, Channel 4 (and our own Bristol WORKS Skill Session!) in an online workshop extravaganza as part of the Cabot Learning Federation, Raising Aspirations Event!
Thursday had lucky students from Northstar 240 attending Mollie’s Motel in Cribbs Causeway, kicking off with a tour of the hotel, checking out the different bedrooms, the reception, and the diner. Learning about all the roles and how a motel/hotel runs, in the diner they then had a milkshake and mocktail masterclass and even got to make and enjoy their own! Some were considering hospitality after that treat!
Friday came around quickly! What an incredible session by Willmott Dixon with Kings Weston students, where learners got familiar with building materials and how our homes and roads (and the rest!) are made, with an extremely fun and hands on session – lots of sensory materials such as sand and clay really bought the world of construction to light. Students especially enjoyed the big tubes and the echo they created when making sounds, and they filled up their test tubes to make their own strong foundations, similar to those needed to uphold buildings! A full day for Kings Weston, where work experience students got to take a tour of ‘Bristol Bridge!’ hotel, Avon Gorge – where they enjoyed a tour of the premises, and even got a look in to the luxurious signature suite! They saw the behind-the-scenes, including the kitchen, basement and staff room. They took in views of the famous Clifton bridge, and learnt how to balance objects on trays like true professional waiters (using oranges instead of glasses!), as well as how to fold napkins and lay tables like the real hoteliers do!
Again, what a week – this run down of activities is just a mere snapshot of what went on at Bristol WORKS for NCW – and we want to again thank our brilliant employers, schools, learners and our delivery partner Sixteen for such an engaging and hands-on look at a multitude of industries – sparks were flying in learners’ heads as they saw world of work open up to them! Well done to all involved – now looking forward to NCW 2024, bring it on!