Sixth form job talks by Rotarians

Evidence clearly shows that a young person who has four or more encounters with an employer is 86% LESS likely to be unemployed or NOT in education or training, and can earn up to 18% more during their career (see Reference 1).

Striking statistics such as this have led members of our Club to get involved in various ways to help young people. As part of a new initiative one of our Rotarians - Brian Dobinson, who also leads our Innovation Competition) - recently visited the Archbishop's School in Canterbury to be interviewed by the assistant head in front of an audience of about 100 sixth form students about Brian's former job as a lawyer.

The initiative came about after our Club was approached by Munya Badze on behalf of Kent County Council (KCC) following Club Members' appearances at STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) conferences organised by Canterbury Christ Church University. Munya is employed by KCC on a scheme part-funded by The Careers and Enterprise Company to help provide such encounters. Rather than giving young people precise and up-to-date information about qualifying for jobs (which students get in other ways), these encounters serve to offer youngsters aspirations. 

The Gatsby Charitable Foundation, which is supported by the Government, has issued benchmarks for linking curriculum learning at school with the workplace. Various ways are laid down for doing this. One is that each pupil from the age of 11 years should have a meaningful encounter with an employer each year. In this way the youngster has the opportunity to find out what work is like and what it takes to be successful in the workplace. However, at present only 40% of schools provide this kind of opportunity. One of the problems is getting sufficient employers to take part. Initiatives such as our recent one mean that those who have left work, such as  retirees, can help fill the gap and play a valuable role in getting young people into the workplace.

Brian was interviewed for about 30 minutes and asked questions ranging from how he started his career to the type of work he did. Brian says: "This was a new but interesting experience which we hope will benefit students as they start to think about future jobs. I found the students very respectful and look forward to further talks like this."

As a result of Brian's experience, our members have been asked to (and agreed to) participate in further “my job” talks to sixth formers at the Abbey School Faversham. It's likely the format will be similar to the Archbishop's School Interviews. 

We hope that Munya will speak to our Club about this project at our lunchtime meeting on Tuesday 17 July and we plan to report on this after the event. 

On a related note, regular readers of our news will recall that we conducted mock interviews of students at Archbishop's earlier this year. Following on from this, Past President Harry Cragg along with Rtns Andrew Barchi and Brian Dobinson went to Abbey School on 8 March for further mock interviews with sixth formers. They each interviewed three pupils aged 17 or 18 years, none of whom had any previous experience of being interviewed, on the basis of CVs which they had prepared. Our members also discussed this initiative and offered further written advice to teachers. Our members all enjoyed the morning and felt it time well spent (judging by the reaction of the interviewees!) We expect further opportunities of this kind to arise for Rotarians wishing to take part.

Reference 1. The Careers & Enterprise Company. (PDF format).

For further information about The Careers and Enterprise Company click here

For information about the Kent Enterprise Adviser Network (with contact details for enterprise Coordinator Munya Badze, click here

Picture: Rotarian Brian Dobinson. Picture credit: Julie Reza/Rotary Club of Canterbury.

Tuesday 27th March 2018

Published by: The Rotary Club of Canterbury

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