Garstang students step into working life in Lancaster

Garstang Community Academy School students went to the Lancashire Careers Hub at Fraser House, a vibrant coworking space in Lancaster, to speak to people there working in the digital and tech sector, find out about coworking and speak to employers.

Lifting the lid on just what’s on offer in the growing digital and tech sector in Lancashire, their fascinating visit took place thanks to the Lancashire Careers Hub, who support secondary schools and colleges to develop inspirational careers provision.

Providing vital labour market insights and linking businesses with young people, the Lancashire Careers Hub is funded by the Careers and Enterprise Company, Lancashire County Council, Blackpool Council, Blackburn with Darwen Council and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and delivered by employability charity Inspira.

From a young person’s point of view, this means that right from the first year of secondary school,  they get regular chances to meet employers and experience the workplace, as well as find out about different jobs ranging from the academic to the technical through apprenticeships, T Levels and vocational qualifications.

Meanwhile, with the business sector predicted to expand thanks to the National Cyber Force in Samlesbury and huge interest generated among local businesses, the scheme has prompted more than 150 local companies to sign up as  ‘Enterprise Advisers’, working with schools and colleges, while hundreds more are planning to get involved in the delivery of a wide range of career activities.

County Cllr Jayne Rear, cabinet member for Education and Skills, said: “It was a delight to see young people from Garstang Community Academy engaged with the employers working out of Fraser House – you could see that the young people had found out about companies and jobs that were new to them and that they were inspired about what they could do in the future.

“I would like to thank the businesses that supported the workplace experience – it is vital that employers work with us and the schools and colleges to bring to life the world of work – to inspire young people and to help build their future talent pipeline.

“These experiences are hugely impactful for young people and give purpose to their educational journey.  We urge other employers to get involved by signing up to the Lancashire Skills Pledge.”

Student Martha Carr said: “I enjoyed presenting to the businesses and I enjoyed putting the PowerPoint together and working with new people.”

Similarly, student Riley Cornall said: “Fraser House was an engaging experience with employers of a digital industry, where you would be tasked to compose a slideshow giving informative information about a digital business.  We were permitted to use online devices to assist us with our research, then put it into a presentation.”

Paula Askew, Garstang Community Academy careers adviser, said: “It was amazing to see our pupils grow in confidence over the two days. Every student stood up and presented at the end of the project and although many found this a scary prospect, they all did themselves very proud. This opportunity has undoubtedly raised their awareness of careers within the digital sector whilst developing some key employability skills.”

Satinder Singh, headteacher of Garstang Community Academy, said: “The students were fabulous and it was a brilliant experience for them to be a part of, which will prepare them for the real-world.”

Tina Milner, of Inspira, an employability charity that helps more than 21,000 people from Cumbria and Lancashire a year, said: “It was great to see Garstang Academy’s Year 9 pupils embrace the opportunity to engage with the different businesses during the digital workplace experience.

“They researched some tricky questions to formulate their presentations and delivered their findings back to the employers. Their conduct throughout the time working at Fraser House Hub was excellent and a credit to the school.

“Gaining an insight into the diversity of careers in this sector equips them with a better understanding of the routes open to them should they choose to pursue a digital or tech related career.”

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