Edge was delighted to visit Corby last week for a Career Footsteps events at Kingswood Secondary Academy. Volunteers from a wide range of sectors and professions, spoke to Year 10 students about their jobs, career paths and the education route they’d taken.
The group was diverse including British Army Aircraft Engineer, Billy Connolly, Programme Manager for Network Rail, Russell Shanley, and BBC Look East journalist, Stuart Ratcliffe. Certainly one takeaway of the day was that there is no one pathway to a successful career. Paul Cundy left school at 16 and via the RAF and a series of vocational qualifications is now an Account Manager for international IT company, DXC Technology.
Rosanna and Connor are editors with Penguin Random House and travelled from London for the event and they opened young eyes to the possibility of working in publishing. Their eyes certainly widened when asked to guess the biggest amount of money ever paid for a book. Guesses began at just £70, a huge under-estimate of the figure ($60 for the Obamas memoir in case you were wondering…). The global publisher showed its progressive credentials just over a year ago when it announced it was dropping its degree requirement for new jobs with the firm in a bid to recruit the brightest talents from a range of backgrounds and experience.
Penguin Random House UK launched The Scheme in 2016 which asked applicants only for an email address and responses to seven strength-based questions via Tumblr. Those without a degree performed as well as those with a degree and half of the successful candidates who went onto join the company had not been through higher education.
The fantastic teachers and staff at Kingswood are clearly committed to encouraging their students to aim high, achieve their ambitions and fulfil their potential, and hopefully the Career Footsteps event demonstrated that there is more than one pathway to achieve that.