Navigating the Future and Staying in Education 📚🎓

In a world full of opportunities, choosing the path that leads to success can be such a daunting task. While our name is Careers Worcestershire, our advisors can also help you find education and training courses and support you with applications. If you’re confused about your next steps, click here to book an appointment with us!

 

Staying in education is great because:

  1. It keeps options open. Staying in education helps keep your options open, as your qualifications can help you get into various careers.
  2. You gain practical skills and qualities that will help you prepare for employment. Higher levels of education often result in more career opportunities and increased earning potential. Whether you’re completing a study programme at college or university, or on an apprenticeship, staying in education can be really beneficial!
  3. You meet like-minded people. Attending college and other educational institutions means that you are surrounded by people of a similar age with similar interests, helping you create a network of friends and increasing your social circle.
  4. It can be flexible. Whether it’s T-Levels, A-Levels, a degree or a study programme, staying in education doesn’t have to be about studying in a classroom and sitting exams because some courses offer hands-on learning.

 

Education is the key to unlocking your potential

There are so many benefits to continuing your studies, such as better opportunities as a result of more qualifications!

If you don’t like sitting in a classroom and reading textbooks, there are still so many ways to continue learning and gain qualifications. If you’re interested in finding out ways to stay in education that isn’t just going to uni or college, read our blog on alternative routes here: www.careersworcs.co.uk/what-are-your-options

 

 

The word Learn in Scrabble tiles

New Year, New You!

Welcome to 2024!

I hope you’re feeling refreshed and ready for a successful year?

There can be a lot of pressure at this time of year to set goals and New Years resolutions which can be hard to stick to, so my best advice would be to create realistic, manageable goals which don’t feel like a huge chore!

Here at Careers Worcs, we are more than just a careers advice service. While we do offer great services to help 16-24 year olds get on track for a job , training or further education, we also have other services to offer- such as wellbeing support or housing support.


Hub Club – Monthly, starting Thursday 11/1/24 drop in any time between 10am to 3pm 
Click here to book!

Come down to us at Careers Worcestershire and have a chat, grab a coffee and a cake, and meet like-minded people. A chance to make new friends, take part in fun games and activities. We are all in this together and building a sense of community is really important for us! If you have any suggestions of activities you’d like to see please let us know and we can tailor this experience to you.


Job Club – Support with job search every Wednesday 10am to 12pm 
 Click here to book!

As always, our weekly job club will be running on Wednesdays. This gives you the opportunity to come along and use the services here at the Hive to log into the computers here to access job searching websites, gain advice from our careers advisors who can help support you with your applications if needed.

Some of the ways we can help you this year include our Health and Wellbeing sessions… These can either be 1-1 or group sessions, and we’ve introduced some great new group sessions which include;


Monday 08/01/24- New Year, New You workshop at 2 to 3pm – Click here to book!

Focusing on setting goals for the new year that can help with mental, physical, and emotional well-being. We’ll discuss stress management, mindful practices, and nutrition, incorporating the principles of a plant-based lifestyle. We’ll also have some great activities to get involved with, such as group discussions, goal-setting exercises, and practical plant-based cooking.


Friday 12/1/24- Wellbeing
Walk at 1 to 2pm- Click here to book!

The walk will promote a sense of community and support, enjoy the benefits of physical activity, fresh air, and the company of like-minded individuals. The group setting provides opportunities for conversation, connection, and the shared pursuit of improved mental and physical wellbeing. It’s a chance to collectively unwind, recharge, and strengthen social bonds while taking positive steps towards a healthier lifestyle.

Friday 19/1/24- Mindful Colouring at 2 to 3pm- Click here to book!

This session invites young adults to unwind and focus on the present moment through the simple yet meditative act of colouring. We will embrace the therapeutic benefits of mindfulness as we immerse ourselves in intricate patterns and designs. Whether you’re a seasoned artist or a first-time colourer, this session will offer a serene space to decompress, connect with your inner self, and cultivate a sense of calm. The session will offer an hour of mindful colouring to foster relaxation, stress reduction, and creative expression.

Friday 26/1/24- Guided Group Meditation at 2 to 3pm- Click here to book!

This aims to be a serene and collective experience focused on promoting relaxation, mindfulness, and inner calm. The attendees will gather in a quiet and comfortable space. The shared meditation experience will foster a supportive and positive atmosphere, enhancing overall well-being and leaving the young people with a renewed sense of clarity and tranquillity.

Financial Wellbeing Drop-In session – Wednesday 24/1/24 11am to 12.30pm Click here to book!

Zoe from The Basement Project (housing support) will be here to support you with your finances. Christmas is a very expensive time for everyone, with some budgeting advice and an offer for foodbank vouchers and free data on a sim card, you let us know what you need, and we can try our best to help.

The Basement Project are a service which support people facing homelessness and can offer advice and support regarding housing, an extra service they are running this year is support for money worries.

 

Speak soon 🙂
– Aimee

What are Your Options at 16?

Are you thinking about what to do next after your GCSEs and missed our post-16 session? Well, look no further because I’ve summed it all up for you!

You have to be in education or training until you’re 18, but this can look different depending on what you’ve chosen to do.

The main post-16 options are:

  • College and more education.
  • Training programmes, such as apprenticeships and traineeships.
  • Working alongside part-time education or training.

Education.

College courses can be totally different depending on the subject of the course and the delivery of the teaching. No one course is the same!

A-Levels.

What? A-Levels, which means advanced level qualifications, are subject-based courses that are often assessed with exams at the end of the two years. You can pick three or more subjects to study, and different courses have different GCSE grade requirements.

Why? If you’re unsure of what job you want to do in the future or are sure you want to go to university, then choosing to do A-Levels is a great choice! Even though universities will accept other qualifications, A-Levels are usually their preferred choice.

Click here to explore A-Levels.

BTECs.

What? BTECs, which the Business and Technology Education Council developed, are more practical and vocational-based qualifications. A BTEC course will often involve a work placement, so you can go out and experience the world of work in the industry related to this qualification.

Comparing them to other qualifications, one BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma is equivalent to 3 A-Levels.

Why? If you know what you want to work as in the future, BTECs offer both learning and hands-on experience. One of the most popular BTEC subjects is childcare because it’s great if you want to get straight into the industry, as you have the relevant qualifications and work experience to help boost your CV.

Click here to find out more about BTECs.

T-Levels.

What? T-Levels are the new technical-based qualifications that aim to help you step into a career. Like a BTEC, one T-Level is equivalent to three A-Levels and involves a work placement. The 45-day work placement gives you hands-on experience and the space to apply your learning. The course usually lasts for two years and is assessed by several exams and placement-based projects.

Why? Like BTECs, if you know what job you want to do in the future, then T-Levels are great for preparing you for the world of work.

The selling point of T-Levels is that the qualifications have been developed in line with job standards, along with guidance from various employers.

For more information about this type of qualification and to find out about local courses, check out this video by Inspiring Worcestershire or click here to go to the T-Levels website!

Training.

Supported Internships (if you have an ECHP).

What? If you’re interested in starting work, supported internships give you the experience and skills that will help you gain crucial employability skills. Supported internships are structured work-based study programmes for SEND individuals who benefit from practical learning and experience. Supported internships are supported by learning providers, such as colleges, and can involve around 70% of learning in a workplace.

Supported internships are often at least six months long and can be part of full-time education courses. The work and experience completed during this internship will help your course and improve your employability skills.

Why? Supported internships are great for increasing a wide range of skills, as well as providing you with a careers coach to help you during your placement.

If you’re interested in this type of education, click here to learn more about supported internships.

Traineeships.

What? Traineeships allow you to gain work experience and improve your employability and functional skills (i.e., maths and English). They are often described as a pre-apprenticeship step and involve a work placement of 70 hours or more, as well as a mock interview with career advice.

Training providers can help with deciding on a suitable traineeship course, as well as supporting you with your next steps afterwards. The following steps may involve staying with this provider to complete an apprenticeship.

Why? Traineeships are usually short courses (less than six months), so if you’re unsure of what to do next, enrolling on a traineeship can be highly beneficial in enhancing essential skills that can help you with any job.

Watch this video on what a traineeship is, or click here for more in-depth information about traineeships!

Apprenticeships.

What? “Earn while you learn”. Apprenticeships are a mixture of learning and working, so you gain a qualification and paid work. An apprenticeship involves 20% of learning a week, but check out this video to learn more about how apprenticeships work!

Apprenticeships usually last over a year, with the endpoint assessment involving a work-related project and coursework. Depending on the type of apprenticeship and your employer, you may even be offered a permanent contract once the training ends!

Why? There are so many benefits to an apprenticeship (as a Business Admin Apprentice, I might be a bit biased 😉). If you’re worried about money, some employers will pay the regular minimum wage, so it’s always worth finding out more!

If you’re looking at moving into an apprenticeship, make sure you apply for as many of them as you can, as well as having a backup plan. Getting an apprenticeship is like getting a job, so it’s important to apply for lots!

For more information about apprenticeships, click here to go to the Worcestershire Apprenticeships website.

Employment.

What? If you’re under 18, then you still have to be in education, but you may also want to undertake work to support your study. Alongside your working hours, you’ll also have to complete qualifications, but this can look very different depending on what you want.

From a training programme to several accredited short courses, the important thing is to participate in 280 hours of guided learning each year alongside employment.

Why? Choosing to start work alongside part-time study gives you the freedom to explore more courses, as well as earn money and start your career path.

For more information, click here to learn more about working alongside part-time study.

Remember – If you have any questions or worries about your next steps, we’re always here to help! You can click here to book an appointment with an advisor or email us at CareersAdmin@worcestershire.gov.uk

Don’t forget to check our calendar to stay updated on future events and activities!

 

Starting a new job can be scary.. but here are some tips to help you along the way!

Use job searching sites

Here is a list of useful and trusted job searching sites which are easy to use and will help you in your job searching journey. Filter your preferences and skills to match with the relevant job roles.

Research the company

Once you have found a suitable role, dig deeper and do a bit of research into the company which you are about to apply to. Ensure that you know everything that you need to know about the role you are applying for- writing down a few facts about the company is a good idea!

Tailor your CV and cover letter

Depending on the role you are applying to, read the person specification and job description, then tailor your CV by referring to it and using it as a bit of a template to connect the relevant skills and requirements for the role to your personal skills and qualifications.

Follow application instructions

Quite often, each company will be happy with just seeing your CV, however sometimes the company has a whole procedure on their application instructions and some can be long-winded, so give yourself enough time to correctly fill in the application to the best of your ability.

Prepare for the interview

If you are selected for an interview, make sure that you are 100% prepared for this. By following the previous steps, you should know exactly what the role is and have written a cover letter which will support your application. Dig deeper and do a bit of research into the company which you are about to apply to. Ensure that you know everything that you need to know about the role you are applying for- writing down a few facts about the company is a good idea!

During the interview
  • Dress appropriately- Dressing modestly and smart, perhaps black office attire.
  • Be punctual- arrive 10 minutes before your interview and have a contact number just in case of lateness or an emergency which prevents you from being on time.
  • Show interest- make it known that you are eager to work in this role, ask questions, remain enthusiastic and interested during the interview.
  • Remain calm and professional. Try some breathing exercises before you enter the room.
Starting a new job

Upon a successful interview, you have been offered the position and now you must decide to accept or decline the offer. Take time to think about your decision, however you should respond promptly to your potential employers. There will most likely be paperwork to fill out, you will need to provide your personal details, for example, your national insurance number, so try to be prepared and organised with this. Ensure you have the correct equipment, if the company does not provide it, for example, a laptop. Understanding their code of conduct and dress code is also important. Arriving on time, in smart clothing sets a positive example to your employers and colleagues.

Access support

If you are in need of support in regards to helping you apply for jobs, mock interviews or careers advice click here to book an appointment to book an appointment with one of our advisors, or here to book onto our weekly job club, held at the Hive every Wednesday from 10-12pm.

World Teachers’ Day

Teachers Who Are Making a Difference Now!

In the world of education, there are many trailblazers making waves. They’re not your typical educators! They’re breaking the mould, and their stories are game changers.

This World Teachers’ Day (5th October), dive into the exciting journeys of Kakenya Ntaiya, Hanan al-Hroub, Salman Khan, and Linda Darling-Hammond – four superstars who are turning education into something epic!

These stories are a must read to inspire your own unique path into the world of teaching!

Kakenya Ntaiya

Kakenya Ntaiya’s impact as an educator extends beyond the classroom.

Her commitment to transforming the lives of young Maasai girls in Kenya has brought about great change.

Through the Kakenya Centre for Excellence, she has provided access to education and championed gender equality, empowering girls to break from traditional barriers. Ntaiya’s dedication to education has opened doors for many marginalised girls, demonstrating the power of education in creating brighter futures and fostering social change. Her global influence reminds us of the boundless possibilities that emerge when education is seen as a tool for empowerment and progress.

Watch her TedTalk here to hear about the obstacles she faced to grow into the inspiration she is today.

 

Hanan al-Hroub

Hanan al-Hroub’s influence as an educator is inspiring.

From Palestine, she has dedicated her life to promote peace and education in a region of conflict.

Her teaching methods, rooted in empathy and nonviolence, earned her the Global Teacher Prize in 2016. Al-Hroub’s work emphasises the importance of creating a safe and nurturing learning environment, being a positive impact on many Palestinian children.

Her legacy for peaceful education stands as powerful proof to the potential of teaching, hope, tolerance, and brighter future for generations to come.

 

Salman Khan

Salman Khan’s influence as an educator has been innovative.

As the founder of Khan Academy, he offers free, high-quality online resources to learners worldwide.

His user-friendly instructional videos cover a wide range of subjects, making complex topics accessible to millions. Khan’s approach to personalised learning has reshaped traditional classrooms and inspired educators to embrace technology for enhancing education.

His impact on education transcends borders, empowering individuals of all ages to take control of their learning journeys and fostering a culture of lifelong learning.

 

Linda Darling-Hammond

Linda Darling-Hammond‘s influence as an educator is profound and far-reaching.

Known for her expertise in teacher education and educational policy, she has played a vital role in the American education system.

As an advocate for fair and effective teaching practices, she has influenced policies prioritising teacher quality and students’ outcomes.

Her research and leadership have helped reforms aimed at closing achievement gaps and ensuring all students have access to high-quality education.

Her impact inspires educators & policymakers to campaign fair, researched approaches to education reform.

 

The world of teaching isn’t just about classrooms and textbooks.

These stories are a reminder that teaching is a powerful force for positive change. If you’re considering a career in teaching, remember that you have the potential to be a trailblazer, just like these incredible educators. Your journey in education can be epic, filled with opportunities to make a lasting impact, drive positive change, and inspire generations to come.

Who knows, you can make an impact with one person, within a school, in Worcestershire or further afield. The possibilities are endless. And we are here to give you the support you need. Visit us at the Hub in The Hive to kickstart your career into teaching with an one-to-one appointment with a careers advisor. Or check out Careers in Teacher Training and Education here to find pathways into teaching. Start your journey into teaching today!

 

– by Rebecca

The Good, the Bad, and the GCSE results!

A Blog by Emma from Careers Worcs

Thursday 24th August = GCSE Results Day!

Even though I finished high school many, many years ago (hey! I’m not that old!), I still remember how nervous I was picking up my GCSE results.

It was a nerve wracking experience that now, as an adult, I can look back on and realise that I spent too much energy on worrying and being nervous about them. I’d done the exams – I couldn’t change what was already written and I couldn’t change the grades I was about to get.

After getting results that I wasn’t thrilled with, I admit that I was really confused about what to do next.

I spent a lot of time worrying about my next steps, as my GCSEs meant that I didn’t meet the entry requirements for the course that I always wanted to do. It did upset me, and I didn’t really know who to turn to for advice.

I wish I knew then what I know now!

I know now that I shouldn’t have spent so much energy on worrying. That there were alternatives available…I just didn’t know what they were at the time or where to find them!

It’s important to remember that whether you’re happy with your GCSE results or not, you are worth so much more than your grades!

I wish a support system, like Careers Worcs, was available when I was stressing about my future!

It would’ve been great to sit with an Advisor to discuss all my options and how to get into my dream career.

Getting the results!

If, when you have your GCSE results and they aren’t what you wanted, why not pop in for a chat with one of our friendly Advisors? They can talk through your options and support you with your next steps – there are so many routes to achieving your goal!

Hey, even if you did get the results you wanted, why not come and see us to look at what other pathways are open to you. You might be surprised at what else you can do.

GET IN TOUCH!

Come down and visit us at our Hub @ The Hive, Worcester.

We’re open weekdays from 8.30am – 4pm and we’re inside The Hive on the first floor (turn left at when you come in and left again). or give us a call on 0300 666 3 666

 

– Emma

Students look at their exam results in a school corridor

All about apprenticeships!

Hi, I’m Emma, a Level 3 Business Admin Apprentice with Worcestershire County Council. I work in both the Careers Worcestershire Hub team and the Multiply project (which is a project that gives people the opportunity to gain functional maths skills).

When you come into the Hub for appointments, I’m often one of the friendly-looking (hopefully) faces that greet you!

At first, I thought an apprenticeship would be a step back as I’ve already graduated from uni, but I’m still learning new skills!

So, what is an apprenticeship?

“Earn while you learn”

If you’ve never heard of this phrase before, an apprenticeship is both a job and a learning programme. An apprenticeship allows you to earn money whilst also gaining a new qualification.

Around 20% of an apprenticeship is classroom-based learning, which can work out to around one day a week.

These sessions involve learning about all things linked to your job role! 

Anyone can be an apprentice!

A common misconception about apprenticeships is they are only for college leavers – this isn’t true. Anyone of any age and ability can be an apprentice!

There are different levels of apprenticeship:

  • Level 2, which is equivalent to GCSEs.
  • Advanced level 3, which is equivalent to A-level learning.
  • Higher levels 4-7, which are comparable to foundation degrees and above.

Interested in an apprenticeship as well as getting £500?

Worcestershire Apprenticeships logo

Worcestershire Apprenticeships are now offering a £500 bursary to anyone eligible who signs up for a WA Account to submit an expression of interest. (I wish this opportunity was available to me when I was looking for an apprenticeship!)

The WA Bursary can be used towards the cost of your apprenticeship, such as clothing, travel, tools, and equipment needed to complete your apprenticeship.

To find out how to create your WA Account, as well as the eligibility criteria for receiving this funding, click here to visit the Worcestershire Apprenticeships website.

Apprenticeships not right for you?

If you don’t have the confidence to take on an apprenticeship yet, a traineeship could be the solution!

Traineeships are short programmes focused on improving skills. Although traineeships are unpaid, you gain work experience and training that will look great on your CV! This can help boost your confidence when looking at jobs or further training opportunities. 

For more information, click here to find out more about traineeships.

Or, if you have an ECH Plan, you could opt for a supported internship, which is similar to a traineeship by supporting you with developing confidence and valuable skills for the workplace.

For more information on supported internships, click here to visit our Skills4Worcestershire webpage!

Fancy a chat?

If you’re aged 15-24 and have any questions about apprenticeships or just about jobs in general, pop into the Hub and have a chat with us! Click here to go to our booking page.

Kerry from Worcestershire Apprenticeships often pops into the Hub to talk all things apprenticeship! There are lots of amazing apprenticeship opportunities across Worcestershire.

If you’re interested in booking an appointment, click here to find out when Kerry’s next in!

 – Emma

Enterprises

All about Enterprise!

And no, it has nothing to do with that rent-a-car brand (I’ve made that same mistake) or the starship in Star Trek!

So, what is an enterprise?

An enterprise is just a fancy word for a company or business that is created by an individual or group of people, called entrepreneurs.

Enterprises are about the hard work and dedication that it takes to create your own business.

If you consider yourself an inventor or have always wanted to be on Dragon’s Den or The Apprentice, then you might want to consider creating an enterprise from a business idea that you’re passionate about!

It takes a lot of time and dedication to create an enterprise, but with the right business idea and support, you can achieve it!

Entrepreneurs are often good at:

  • leading a team,
  • being creative,
  • solving problems,
  • making decisions,
  • and making conversation.

Interested in starting your own business?

As part of the Worcestershire County Council, we can help you understand your options, as well as explaining any relevant funding or programmes for which you can apply.

Click here to find out more on what we can help you with to help you as a start-up.

Enterprise Information Event on Thursday 22 June 2023!

If you’re an entrepreneur in the making, pop into the Hub and attend our Enterprise Information session to find out more about enterprises and how to access the local support that’s available to you.

Click here to book your place at our Enterprise Event

Click here to see what else is on!

We can’t wait to see you at our Hub @ The Hive for the Enterprise Event!

– Emma

A checklist of starting up a business