There have been many challenges in 2020, and the Careers Department team have rapidly adjusted to new modes of connecting to students, quickly upskilling and adapting to increased use of technology. This involved collating several weeks of learning materials, making hard copies available online, and growing adoption of online systems to store content and manage interactions with students and parents. The team introduces a new transition to work service and converted knowledge into different virtual and online formats, which has meant that students still had the benefits of work experience, career advice and tours all completed online.
Once face-to-face work experience was available, new connections were required as previous organisations were no longer able to offer work experience, which involved innovative ways of thinking and reaching out to new sectors. The pandemic had a severe impact on higher education as universities changed requirements for entry, which meant translating the information to students/parents and supporting them through this stressful process. The team connected with these institutions to offer online tours, information sessions and one to one support.
The Careers Team responded by helping young people to become critical thinkers about the labour market and how it relates to their learning by offering practical career guidance, providing weekly pastoral care and a new registered unit. The impact of these new programs meant that students were not disadvantaged and some students who had been previously disengaged or suffered from health issues, were able to benefit from activities they felt unable to before. The career aspirations of young people matter, and through the work of the Careers Department team, students have had access to the information they need to make the right decisions about their educational and occupational futures.