The Causeway interviews finished in early June, and the following week the first year 10 progression morning took place at Rye College on !3th June. The Careers Fair took place in the smart new training room, and a carousel of other activities took place, From time to time the heavens opened and the rain came down, but spirits remained high and prizes were won.
One week to the day later it was time for the St Leonards year 10 Progression Morning, and an even larger team of MFSH associates and facilitators arrived to deliver sessions to the large year ten student cohort at the Academy.The Careers Fair in the Hall was filled with the buzz of students meeting businesses and colleges, to ask questions and find out about opportunities for the future.
At both events the willingness of the organisations, employers and college teams to give up their time for a whole morning was a clear signal of real commitment to supporting the development of the future workforce. We thank them all.
We were pleased to start working with Causeway School, whose year ten students had individual guidance interviews with our team of advisers. They had the valuable experience of time spent in conversation with someone with the skills to explore with them= their hopes and aspirations for the future.
Meanwhile, work on our annual year 10 progression mornings in three of the academies we work with was underway.
- Much of April was taken up by school holidays, ending with the Easter weekend. It was a time for detailed planning of our big summer events, with all that involves!
My Future Starts Here was kept busy during National Careers Week delivering workshops and guidance at the three East Sussex Colleges sites. We also delivered assemblies to year 8 and 9 students at Willingdon school.
A visit to the National Careers Guidance Show was interesting and useful. There were some extremely interesting speakers, as well as the opportunity to find out about a range of organisations offering different services.
Rye College year 9 students came to a decision -making workshop as they considered their future options. The workshop sessions enabled them to think about themselves and their strengths and interests, to practise negotiating skills and identify ways to reach consensus, and to start to understand labour markets and why they are important.
More guidance interviews took place at a number of schools and colleges.
Claremont year 12 students attended Face the Future, a Sixth Form conference organised by My Future Starts Here, about options at 18+. The keynote speaker was Derek Osborn an international business career coach. His talk was called The future of work is human. He also facilitated some of the discussions. The students took part in a variety of guided tasks on various issues, such as What in the world concerns you? and What in the world do you care about? The closing session of the conference was delivered by Richard Watson, OBE, Founder and Director of Energise Sussex Coast. His talk - A Vision for the Future - included the environment, sustainable resources and climate change .
With the arrival of the New Year thoughts turned to students in year or 9 and the start of their Options choice process.
Our guidance advisers went on to work with these younger students to give them a first experience of thinking about their futures. Because the students are younger and this is a new milestone, we offer more informal small group career conversations, with three students meeting an adviser.
These sessions took place at Claremont School, Frewen College, The Hastings Academy and St Leonards Academy. As part of the group work each student is guided in completing a simple action plan where they record some of their ideas prompted by the session. The young people enjoy this format which enables them to speak about themselves, their strengths and their hopes for the future in a comfortable setting and with their peers.
This is a time when the last guidance interviews take place before year 11 students make their choices and complete their applications. During this month My Future Starts Here guidance advisers worked with year 11 students at The Hastings Academy , The St Leonards Academy, St Richards Catholic College, and ARK Helenswood Academy.
Meanwhile Christmas was coming and everyone was looking forward to it!
Guidance interviews with year 11 students continued apace in our secondary academies and schools. Our team of specialist guidance advisers work extremely hard at this time of year to make sure that the young people they meet are given the best quality advice and guidance possible as they prepare to make applications for their next steps beyond school.
During this time sixth form interviews were delivered at Frewen College in Northiam, where My Future Starts Here has provided a service since 2016.
Another highlight of this month was an Employabiity and Enterprise Morning delivered to year 10 students at Claremont Senior School.
We began delivery of year 11 individual guidance interviews in number of our client schools during this month. A short advance briefing session with year 11 tutors at St Leonards's Academy was particularly helpful as were able to explain the nature and purpose of the guidance interviews soon due to begin. The resulting action plans are intended to support their tutorial role, enabling them to discuss and review action points with their students. This useful partnership working reinforces the support for students.
We also attended a Parents Information Evening at Bexhill College where we delivered a presentation Looking Ahead about progression options.
My Future Starts Here supported Rye College's Success at 16 evening, being available to provide specialist advice to students and their parents about possible future pathways.
- As the new school year got underway we were busy finalising delivery plans with our client organisations. We delivered our year 10 and year 11 assemblies at Willingdon school as we have over the previous four years. We were pleased to start working with Eastbourne College and Lewes College from the recently merged East Sussex Colleges group and St Richard's Catholic College in Bexhill. Also new at the start of the year were St John's School, Seaford and St John's College,Brighton.
August marks the approach of another academic year. Our advisers provide A-level and GCSE Results Day support services for a number of our client organisations, helping students needing advice to find a positive way forward.
At the end of the month our guidance advisers attended the ESCG colleges at Lewes, Eastbourne and Hastings providing guidance to individual students during the enrolment period.
The first week in July saw the start of two of our Foot in the Door placements. Many thanks to Marshall Tufflex and Housing Law Services for the time and effort they put into supporting and encouraging the young people who went to them.
The same week saw another action-packed year 10 Progression Morning at The St Leonards Academy, when students were involved in a four-hour carousel of activities designed to broaden their understanding of the world of work and to enable them to practise a range of skill at a Careers Fair and class-sized sessions on personal Brand, skills for Success and
progression lab activity. The event aims to help students to feel more confident as they approach their GCSE year after the summer.
The remaining students in the pilot started their placements in the second week of July, one for a single week and the others for two weeks till the end of term. Once again the employers designed varied and engaging work tasks for the young people. Sincere thanks to Lets2share and Littlegate Farm for arranging those two placements. Foot in the Door was a small but very valuable pilot, and all the students had a positive experience. As one young person said, what made it such a valuable time was that the work was 'really meaningful.'
Another year 10 Progression morning took place at The Hastings Academy during the same week that phase 2 of the work experience placements started. It had the same design and purpose as the one in the previous week, and was equally well received. We're hugely grateful to all the businesses and other organisations who were so generous with their time and goodwill. By the time the last week of term ended it was definitely time for a break!
Our Foot in the Door pilot is taking shape, The first students are now meeting the employers who have offered them placements. This is an ideal time for year 11s, just out of school, to spend productive time in a real-life work environment.
My Future Starts Here took part in Bexhill sixth Form College's Progression Day, delivering sessions on the ever-growing range of Options at 18+, and How to have a rewarding career in the Performing Arts.
Rye College year 10 Progression morning on June 12th was judged to be one of the best in six years of these events. There was a carousel of activities: a careers fair, a Progression lab workshop, and a Skills for Success workshop. Students were engaged and receptive, and a wide variety of businesses, colleges and other organisations gave up their morning to encourage and support the young people.
Pleased to organise a scintillating evening of STEM at Claremont Senior school. The guest speaker, Dr John Nolan of the Kurt J Lesker Company Ltd gave an informal but dynamic presentation to an audience of students and their parents. Eyes were opened and minds stretched!
Foot in the Door, our work experience pilot scheme , starts to take shape. Employers are sending in their 'back-burner' projects and My Future Starts Here is in communication with the local schools which have expressed interest in being part of the pilot. We aim to keep this first effort small so that we can monitor and evaluate it carefully.
Preliminary arrangements for the Rye College Year 10 progression morning in June get underway.
Guidance interviews took place at Sussex Coast College during its Progression Week. Meanwhile the priority for schools and colleges all over the country was the start of the GCSE and A-level exams.
April 26th saw the third meeting of Meeting the Challenge, our future workforce forum. The value of Work Experience was the main topic of discussion. Employers spoke compellingly about their previous experiences and there was general discussion about the challenges faced by the small and medium sized businesses that are the majority of companies in the Hastings and St Leonards area. A commitment was made to try to develop a small pilot work experience programme at the start of the summer holiday. A number of employers offered to think about and suggest projects that might be suitable.
The first half of the month was taken up by the the long Easter weekend and two week of holidays. Once the term was underway again, associates delivered guidance interviews to students at Frewen College and Mayfield School
National Careers Week is from Monday 5th - Saturday 10th March. My Future Starts Here will be delivering workshops to students at Sussex Coast College Hastings. The topics: Application and Interview Techniques, Personal Brand, Working Life, Labour Market Information.
We started the month at Willingdon Community School with a year 8 assembly. The students were engaged, responsive and contributed well, and we enjoyed meeting them.
My Future Starts Here delivered a series of workshops to Bexhill College single year students on their Progression Day, 21st February. The topic: Personal Brand
Our Meeting the Challenge initiative continues to evolve. We facilitated a meeting for a sub-group of twenty interested stakeholders from local companies and organisations, to seek their views and discuss ways of helping to shape the future workforce. We were pleased to welcome representatives from the Skills East Sussex team at East Sussex County Council, and a speaker from the NHS, who gave very useful presentations about local skills gaps and opportunities.
A productive discussion followed, resulting in useful insights and suggestions. Many thanks to Marshall Tufflex for hosting the session at which collaborative thinking led to creative ideas which pointed to the next step we need to take. We look forward to the next meeting of the full workforce forum on April 26th!
- During the first week of this month we completed the KS3 activities we'd been involved in over recent weeks, and received positive feedback from the schools. We constantly review our activities and regularly think about new ways to offer useful provision at important transition points for students during years 7 - 13.
Throughout this month My future Starts Here has been working with KS3 students at six of our client schools. providing a variety of activities on the theme of options and making decisions. This is the time of year when students in year 8 and 9 are starting to think about how to choose some of the GCSE subjects they'll be studying in the following year.
My Future Starts Here began the The New Year by delivering staff development training at Sussex Coast College Hastings. Its focus was on the career management skills and attitude needed by students as they progress from education into the competitive and fast-moving environment of today's world of work.
The CDI conference took place in the Midlands in the first week of December. The conference opened with the launch of the long-awaited Careers Strategy by Anne Milton MP, Minister of State for Skills and Apprenticeships, and Minister of State for Women. A mixture of specialist keynote speakers, an exhibition, and a choice of 32 workshops provided a varied and interesting two-day programme.
Our workshop on the challenges of preparing for the future workforce was well received by the attendees, who shared their experiences and observations about different approaches and initiatives in other areas of the country. The conference, attended by 200 delegates, created a valuable opportunity to meet and interact with a wide variety of career professionals.
We're looking forward to being at the Career Development Institute's national conference early in December. One of the main conference themes is The Future of Work, and we'll be finding out about employment trends and projections. As members of the CDI we'll be delivering a conference workshop titled Our Future Workforce where we'll tell delegates about about the launch of the forum and plans to take forward the Meeting the Challenge initiative here on the South Coast.
Near the start of this month we spent an enjoyable day with friendly and responsive Claremont Sixth formers, delivering workshops on: LMI and why it matters, Personal wellbeing and happiness, Options at 18+,and Decision Making.
Meeting the Challenge. 18th October
The Stade Hall in Hastings was the venue for a forum with a focus on the workforce of the future. An open invitation went out to employers, HR professionals, educators, career development professionals, innovators and visionaries – and thirty of them showed up!
The two-hour event took the form of a speed think tank.
A presentation by Derek Osborn set the scene and gave a context for the discussion. Short presentations by invited speakers alternated with small group discussions and feedback.
Employers’ perspectives came from Steve Baldry of Marshall Tufflex Ltd. and Tim Crook of Housing Law Services.
Education perspectives were offered by Kate Thorpe from The University of Sussex and Cordelia Macmillan, Assistant Principal at The Hastings Academy.
The central issue? How we should meet the challenge of developing a workforce for an uncertain future, with changing needs for skills and markets, the impact of Brexit, developments in technology and the changing nature of work itself.
Delegates came from a range of organisations and sectors. Discussion groups were mixed; the expertise and experience they reflected generated lively conversations and different ways of looking at things. The limited time gave intensity to their thinking, and innovative ideas started to crystallize
The morning ended with a career development perspective provided by Carrie Normoyle and Pru Blackwell, co-founders of My Future Starts Here and joint organisers of the forum, in partnership with Derek Osborn
Response to the session was enthusiastic. There was a real will to work together, taking forward shared insights and ideas. To quote Tim Crook, one of the speakers : “It was a brilliant and really well attended event with very positive engagement.”
Earlier in October…
This time of the academic year is the season for Year 11 individual guidance interviews. At the start of the month our adviser team began providing guidance interviews to all year 11 students at The St Leonards Academy. They will be working there throughout this month and next, supporting individual students as they explore options and start to make decisions about their next steps
We visited Willingdon Community School to speak at a Year 11 assembly, giving an insight into the ever-expanding range of Apprenticeships now becoming available.
We had a busy morning with Year 10 students from Claremont Senior School, running an Employment and Enterprise workshop where they practised their teamwork, organisational, and presentation skills.
During the second week of the new school year a team of four qualified guidance advisers from My Future Start Here went into ARK Helenswood Academy to provide individual guidance interviews to students who will soon be making their applications for post-16 provision. In the space of one week every year 11 student spent dedicated time with an experienced professional, talking about themselves and their next steps towards the future. It was an intense week that ran like a well-oiled machine thanks to the excellent organisation and determination of their Year Head.
Three days of year 11 guidance interviews were delivered at The Cavendish School in Eastbourne.
Later in the month individual guidance interviews for all year 11 students began at The Hastings Academy, delivered in a different pattern, on two days a week over several weeks from now till December. Our advisers have important conversations with young people, identifying their strengths, interests, and ideas about their future.
Another year begins.
The A level and GCSE Results Days in August mark the first step towards the start of another academic year.
The team at My Future Starts Here are on hand in our client organisations to congratulate the young peoples’ achievements after two years of strenuous effort, and to celebrate the fact that they are are moving on to the next stage of their journey.
We wish them all well at this exciting time.
Following a two day reassessment visit we were delighted to hear that My Future Starts Here had successfully maintained its accreditation to the matrix standard for a further three years.
We will continue to provide our clients with a high quality service that meets their needs, however large or small.