As part of National Careers Week, we were lucky enough to be invited to Eastleigh College, just down the road from our head office in Hampshire, to take part in their careers event, which runs from 4th– 6th March.
Eastleigh College delivers qualifications across Hair, Beauty and Hospitality, running a successful commercial salon called ‘Avenue’ and a top-class dining experience offering modern British cuisine at their ‘East Avenue Restaurant’. Both of which are open to the public and offer learners on their respective courses a realistic experience of the industry that they want to work in.
Lorna Wagner, Head of Learner Journey at the college, has designed a range of activities each afternoon during National Careers Week. She has involved college learners as well as local schools, employers and the local careers hub, and aims to beat last year’s event, at which 30 employers reached over 350 young people.
Employers and Academic institutions present at the event included those from the building trade, utilities industry, the military, local universities and the local county council.
College Principal, Dr Jan Edrich, explained that the aim of the event was to address a common mindset that the academic route should be the aspiration for young people and that the vocational career pathway is often overlooked in favour of this.
For this year’s event, there is an emphasis on the Hospitality and Retail sectors and throughout the week, there are skills demonstrations by local businesses and past students, as well as careers support workshops covering topics such as interview techniques.
We attended to meet with both young people and employers to talk about our qualifications portfolio. We chatted with current Hospitality learners about our Career Pathways and how they could develop their careers, and also spoke to local school students about their career aspirations.