For the majority of vocational students, education should lead to employment. It can, therefore, be helpful for schools and colleges to build professional experience into their students’ learning. This not only enables students to learn practical skills but can also help them to begin building professional relationships and industry contacts – which may help them to find employment when they qualify.
Salford City College have partnered with a UK based charity Career Ready to do just this and have had exceptional results.
The college has created a series of Career Ready courses. These courses help students to become career ready by assigning them a business mentor and organising them a six week paid internship.
Mentors volunteer to play a role in students’ education, helping with assignments and internship applications, and by provide guidance and career advice wherever possible. Students also attend the mentor’s place of work.
One accounting student who was paired with Amanda Wood from Lloyds Banking Group said: ‘I have always been interested in banking, so I was really pleased to discover that Amanda was allocated as my mentor.’
The Career Ready courses are already showing results.
After a six week summer placement with UK television company ITV, one student has been offered a part time job while he completes his college studies.
He explained: ‘I love working at ITV, as it is such a well known brand with such a strong reputation, so it will look great on my CV when I come to look for full time work after my studies.’
Tina Piper, Business Service Centre Executive Coordinator at ITV said about the student:
‘It has been a pleasure to watch our intern grow in knowledge, skills and confidence over the six week placement and easily become a valued member of our team’. Adding, ‘we are delighted to have him return to us while he completes his studies.’
Salford City College has found that connecting students with industry has encouraged them to focus on their learning and prepare them for careers.
To find out more about the Career Ready courses on offer at Salford City College, please click here.