My first week at work with the Edge Foundation and on the 1st March we were at the National Career Guidance show at Olympia in west London. Edge had a stand at the event where we gave out leaflets and spoke to lots of people in the education sector involved in the provision of careers information, advice and guidance for young people.
On the day, Edge was focusing on two areas; to launch our new employer engagement interactive toolkit and to promote our free Career Footsteps service . The Give Yourself the Edge, toolkit, developed with our partners at the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), is an online step by step guide for schools to help them develop and deepen partnerships with local employers. Edge’s own survey of FE students, conducted last year, showed that the majority wanted more information from employers. We know that young people who attend careers talks by professionals between the ages of 14 and 16 earn more than their peers ten years into their careers. Talks from employers, visits to workplaces and work experience, is hugely important to help young people make informed choices about their futures. Research also shows that each talk equates to around 1.6 per cent on a future salary – what’s not to like? We launched the toolkit at the show on a large TV showing off the eye-catching graphics of the kit which is free to use via the #home“>link on the Edge website.
Career Footsteps brings together professionals with experience of a technical or vocational education route and local schools. They volunteer to visit and share their experience and insight with students in the classroom. It’s an opportunity for young people to hear about professions they may not be familiar with, expand their horizons, raise their aspirations and widen their options.
There were over 1,000 visitors to the event at Olympia and I’m sure almost all of them stopped at the Edge stand. The overall response was positive and people were very engaged and keen to support our campaign for a Baccalaureate which includes at least one creative or technical subject.
The event was very enjoyable and a great way to start my apprenticeship at Edge. I thoroughly enjoyed engaging in conversation and not only explaining to people what we at Edge do, but finding out what they do and why they were there.