Minsthorpe Community College has been shortlisted by the Careers & Enterprise Company for a £250,000 bid to introduce a programme of careers education that could benefit thousands of students across Yorkshire. The CEC is a company created by the government to inject new life into careers education and is currently setting up a number of Careers Hubs across the country. Minsthorpe is leading a consortium of 5 schools in a bid for money to fund a programme of Personal Guidance that will see every student in each school having at least one individual careers talk with a fully qualified Personal Guidance Professional who will advise and guide them on the many routes that are open to them – be that work with training, apprenticeships, further education or higher education.
"Just getting this far has been a gruelling experience and we have beaten off stiff competition to be shortlisted" said Ray Henshaw, the Principal of Minsthorpe. "We are absolutely committed to giving high quality careers advice and give it at the times when students most need it" added Ray. Minsthorpe prides itself on being there for students in Year 7 to help them get a general idea of where their career aspirations might lie and continue to work with each student in Year 8 as they make their GCSE choices. That support continues in Year 11 as students approach their next key transition point and every Year 13 student is given help and support as they decide what is next – university, apprenticeship or work.
"What is normal for us does not necessarily happen in other schools as education cuts have sometimes led to careers education becoming less of a priority" Ray explained. "If we are successful in this bid we will train 15 new Personal Guidance Professionals who will work with young people across the five partner schools and then each school will develop a further network of five extra schools each, training staff in those schools on how to give effective careers advice and guidance. Within two years we hope to have improved the advice that students get in at least thirty schools across West Yorkshire" said Ray "and then use the new Careers Hubs to show other schools the impact that this can have and how to do it themselves."
Ray has to present the idea to a Management Board from the CEC next Thursday and will need to show that the proposal is sustainable and offers good value for money.