Teacher externships boost careers advice programmes in schools

Spending just a day with a local employer can give teachers valuable insight into the world of work, says a report by Derby University’s International Centre for Guidance Studies, published today (6 September 2018). The evaluation of Give Yourself the Edge (GYTE), commissioned by the Edge Foundation who initiated the programme, found that 80 per cent of teachers felt they had gained valuable insight into the world of work.

One headteacher noted,

‘I had a straightforward career path of school-uni-school and I didn’t really know what the outside world of work was like. [GYTE] gave me an opportunity to learn.’

A teacher agreed, saying,

‘You do your studies, get your qualification and enter teaching. I had no idea about other routes like apprenticeships.’

The evaluation also found that students benefitted with 84 per cent reporting they had learned a lot about local jobs and employers. Three quarters of teachers said they were more confident about offering career advice after participating in GYTE.

Schools in Nottingham, Derby and the North East were recruited to take part in the careers education programme targeting Year 8 students. Teachers do a one day externship with a local business, then share what they’ve learnt with their students with a six-week school based project. The programme is completed with a presentation by pupils to the employer and/or their peers.

Education Delivery Manager for the Edge Foundation, Helen Beardmore, who managed the project said,

‘This thorough analysis clearly demonstrates the benefits of the Give Yourself the Edge programme for teachers and their students. It also gives us some good pointers towards making it more effective, for example many of the students were keen to visit the businesses themselves. Certainly the programme does show that employer engagement is critical for schools to be able to share meaningful careers information, advice and guidance with their students and meet the important Gatsby benchmarks.’

Another teacher stated,

‘[GYTE] is a good way of embedding careers provision into the curriculum and in a way that is sustainable, easy and has a lot of positive outcomes for staff and students.’

If schools would like to take part in a Give Yourself the Edge externship programme, they can contact hbeardmore@edge.co.uk

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