People & Skills Projects - 04 March 2022

NCW22 case study: On-site work experience from the classroom

During National Careers Week, we’re encouraging businesses to discover the ways they can make a difference to the career aspirations of young people in our area. Our case study series explores recent D2N2 projects and the impacts they’ve had. For more information on D2N2 skills projects, visit the projects page.

The Open Doors programme links employers with local schools to enable young people to experience the workplace and the wide variety of roles available. The LEP developed the programme in 2019, in partnership with employers. In 2021, it was redeveloped to deliver meaningful careers activity during the pandemic.

In showcasing their businesses, employers help students to learn about local career opportunities, understand workplace behaviours, and develop interest in those sectors. They also demonstrate the variety of careers available within the business, such as finance, administration, and marketing. The programme helps schools to fulfil four of the Gatsby Benchmarks of Good Career Guidance.

Companies such as Motorpoint, Flowerworld, Alstom, and Severn Trent have delivered programmes to date, including for two cohorts of SEND students.

GF Tomlinson Building Ltd, a D2N2 Cornerstone Employer, converted their onsite programme to a fully virtual experience, and have engaged 250 year 9-10 students across three schools. The programme included a video site tour, expert advice from construction project staff, and a supported group project to create and present a model design.

Craig Stopper, Framework Manager at GF Tomlinson said: “The Open Doors programme is one of many ways we engage with students from local schools to promote aspirations, curiosity and knowledge about future careers. There is a significant skills gap in construction across all disciplines and these experiences are a great way of raising awareness of the variety of roles and career routes available within the industry.

The pandemic presented challenges to businesses and schools alike and our collaboration with our local schools and Careers Enterprise team enabled us to quickly convert our existing model to a virtual offer, ensuring students still benefitted from workplace engagement.”

National Careers Week Case studies

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All eight colleges operational across D2N2 have collaborated to produce a universal digital skills module, to ensure all their students gain the basic digital skills needed for life and work.

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