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The Career Hub leading York & North Yorkshire on its journey to recovery

23/07/2021 News

Yvonne Emerson, Career Hub Lead for The York & North Yorkshire Career Hub, shares her perspective on how the work to support our young people has changed and inspired her in the last 18 months.

I am managing a network of 66 schools and colleges across Yorkshire and North Yorkshire, 34 of which form the YNY Careers Hub. Through my role leading a team of 3.5fte Enterprise Coordinators, supporting the area ambition to ensure every young person is equipped to make quality decisions about education, training and careers and achieve the priorities set within our local Skills Strategy.   At the beginning of lockdown we set out a clear approach to support the team to be ‘delivery ready’ across the various phases of restrictions, lockdown – Phased Return – New Normal, enabling us to continue to work with schools/colleges/community and employers at the same time whilst navigating the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic across the phases.  Through implementation of the programme we:
  • Consulted with the network via a survey to gather need
  • Established needs – up to date LMI, information on Post 16 & 18 pathways as well as employer encounters, skills and support with raising awareness of how these can be transferred across the various sectors – with Year 11 and above identified for the support.
  • Engaged our Careers Strategy Group, alongside a subgroup of partners including City of York Council, Aspire IGen and FutureHY – Uni connect (who provided match funding) and our employer networks and shaped a programme of support.
  • Collaborated, bringing together, stakeholders, HE/FE, providers, the ASK delivery partner and employers to develop a menu of support for Year 11 and above.
The ‘Shape your Future’ programme of activities began with an up to date resource of the YNY Labour Market Shape your Future 20/21. We explored suitable virtual platforms  to accommodate our new approach, and refined our ask of employers and providers by creating a simple brief to cover the needs of the schools and collated the following video content themes for the events: Exploring Pathways - focused on all post 16 and 18 choices, using a student voice on each option to share how and why they chose a particular pathway. Careers & Skills event explored the key LEP priority sectors with a strong focus on transferable skills and their relevance across all sectors. 4 ‘Industry Insight days’ a deep dive into the LEP priority sectors, Health and Social Care, Construction, Digital and Creative, and ‘Farm to Fork’ exploring agriculture, agritech and food manufacturing exploring careers and the skills required. The impact and Stats:
  • 34 Schools attended live events, inclusive of parents who engaged in 2-way meaningful encounters with employers via a secure chat function supported by a panel of employers. With the content made available post event via an on-demand resource.
  • c15,000 viewers live and c10,000 accessing on demand. C25 employers supported, representative of our sectors and businesses – large and SME’s.
  What effect did it have on them? Pre & Post Learners were asked to score themselves against 5 questions with 1 (no awareness) 10 (extremely aware) Pre - 71% scored between 1 and 4 with most answering Yes to considering a job role in the sector.  Post - learners scores ranged from 7 to 9 indicating the event had supported developing their awareness levels of the sectors. ‘I am about to put together another series of lessons/assemblies, so it will be great to have the 'on demand' videos available to support that. I think having a range of sectors represented will be helpful for making more explicit links with curriculum which is a current target following our last compass.” CL, York How it changed and inspired me Setting out a clear approach, knowing and setting the ask was a turning point – a shift from ‘busy fools’ to being productive, effective and supportive across the pandemic. A noted change was the way education embraces the technology; pre pandemic our schools had very traditional Career’s programme and content, virtual encounters were not applicable. What inspired me the most was the power of teamwork and collaboration to achieve one aim – to support our young people to make informed choices, understand the labour market, opportunities open to them and the importance of skills, supporting our area on its journey to recovery with young people equipped for their next steps.
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