Given the speed at which young people’s futures are changing and the uncertainty caused by factors such as Brexit and the current financial markets, the need for good Careers guidance has never been more important. To provide students with up-to-date support requires impartial expert advice, and Lingfield College is developing its Careers provision to meet this need.
The school has a dedicated Careers Advisor, Maggie Mortleman, who has twenty years’ experience in Recruitment for the major London banks and is able to support Sixth Form students by means of regular Careers Workshops that focus on CV writing skills, applying for work experience placements, preparing for interviews and techniques for networking and research via sites such as LinkedIn. To date, the students have been extremely successful in gaining placements with prestigious companies ranging from ‘The Lady’ Magazine, Metropolitan Police and Thales, to the international law firm Pinsent Masons, Queen Victoria Hospital and the merchant bank, Close Brothers.
This year, the school has extended the guidance on Work Experience to younger students, and two Year 12s gave presentations to the Year 11 cohort on their placements with Sky Sports and Joint, a prestigious London-based Advertising agency to promote the importance of Work Experience. While students are encouraged to find their own placements, much as they will need to do as adults, they are offered support if needed. They also receive regular guidance from Inspiring Futures, a company that provides impartial and comprehensive advice on all aspects of Careers and Higher Education, and Lingfield plans to develop their involvement further in the coming years. Lingfield is also making increasing use of its parent body and Alumni, who are invited to talk to the students about how they made certain important career decisions, how competitive the job market really is, and how best to plan ahead.
Business links have become a vitally important part of the Lingfield Careers programme. Companies are invited to come in and talk to students about their work experience and graduate programmes, as well as their apprenticeship schemes: many companies are now offering higher level opportunities which are becoming a particularly attractive option, given that they can include funded degrees, paid work experience and the opportunity of a job offer at the end! One Lingfield student, Emily Turner, has recently been offered a place with the Nestlé Fast Start Programme, which is a Higher Level Apprenticeship. She met company representatives at the Lingfield Careers Fair in 2016, and chatted to them once again when they returned to the school to give a Careers Talk – the networking that she did was crucial to her success and her experience has given other students the confidence to do the same.
The school is also building up an up-to-date Careers library, with books ranging from general guides to UCAS applications, working abroad and planning Gap Years to more focused books on how to become an Airline Pilot, MI5 Intelligence Officer or Game Designer, courtesy of the how2become range of Careers-based literature.
It has been said that change is the only constant, and the school feels strongly that developing students’ strategies to cope with this fact is one of the best ways to support them as they approach the challenges of the employment market in the coming years.