A new careers hub has been opened at a Sheffield school to inspire the students and give them a place to understand their future goals.
Handsworth Grange Community Sports College in Handsworth unveiled the new careers hub on Thursday, March 7, to coincide with national careers week in hopes of encouraging students to strive and achieve their aspirations.
Sponsored by Henry Boot, the new dedicated space – which was once a bare science store room – has been transformed and now features a number of computers and careers information to offer students of all ages a resource which will prepare them for the future.
When using the room pupils in Year 10 and Year 11 will each get appointments to discuss their career goals, held by Amy Cooke, Careers Advisor for Sheffield Futures, in which parents are also invited to attend.
“It is a place where students know they can come to start doing research and ask questions,” Amy said.
“Before this they didn’t know where to go if they had questions so now they’ve got a space and they’ve got resources and it is a fantastic opportunity to raise aspirations.”
Alongside the appointments, students will be given the chance to complete applications for places such as college and university and found out more information in regards to higher education, with everything from apprenticeships to A-Levels.
Other year groups will also be allowed to take advantage of the careers hub during workshops tailored for smaller groups and it is hoped the school can expand on their work with visiting Year 6 students to ‘plant a seed’ as to what they may want to do when they are older.
Charlotte Lake, Careers Leader at Handsworth Grange Community School said: “It gives them a place where they can actually feel safe looking at careers and seeing where their life is going to go.
“It allows them to look at different courses, and different careers but also allows them to meet with us and ask us questions about where we’ve gone and what we know.”
Chairman of the Student Council at Handsworth Grange, Cameron Smith, aged 14, added: “I think it is a really good opportunity for students to realise what jobs there are out there. If I think of maths and what you can do, I think of money but there is so much more you can do with it.
“This careers hub is going to show people what they can do with their qualifications and what they can pursue in the future.”
Sheffield-based company Henry Boot work to promote careers within the city schools and as such sponsored the room and offered computer equipment for students.
The construction company enjoy close connections with Handsworth Grange and have worked with them in the past to promote careers to young people.
Darren Littlewood, Financial Director of Henry Boot said: “We’ve always done a huge amount of work in schools promoting the kind of careers that we have at Henry Boot around construction and more now leaning towards strategic land and property development.
“Through those connections we got in touch with Paul, the assistant headteacher at Handsworth Grange, who was trying to set up a careers hub. Clearly that needed funding and resource and one of the first things we thought about was our used IT equipment and donated that.
“When we came to see what Paul was trying to do with that equipment and what he was trying to set up we actually got hooked into the bigger picture of, actually we can support this more and develop the hub and brand it as Henry Boot.
“Clearly it is in Sheffield, that helps us get our name out there to the up and coming children who are going to progress and hopefully at some point we might employ.
“It has been really good to set a model as a standard of what we can do, what we can achieve and what is needed – a resourcing place for the children – and going forward I think it would be really good if we can replicate this model in schools where there is a need to do this more.”
Around £4 million in funding was granted for schools across the country as part of the government’s commitment to make sure people have the skills they need to get on in life and help build a Britain that is fit for the future.
Since the start of the new academic year in September 2018, schools are now required to use the Gatsby benchmarks, which reflect international best practice, to improve their careers provisions.
Schools must meet all eight benchmarks by the end of 2020, including having a stable careers programme and addressing the needs of every pupil.
If you are a school wanting to partner with Henry Boot visit their website to get in touch.