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Schools on crusade to bring employers and pupils together

13 June 2019

The Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham are on a crusade to bring employers and pupils closer together for the benefit of the future workforce.

The group, made up of eight independent schools including Kind Edward VI High School for Girls and King Edward VI Five Ways School, have highlighted that contact with employers plays an “essential role” in the development of their students.

According to the Bridging Skills Gaps in Greater Birmingham: How to avoid talent shortages for the future report  a report produced by Robert Walters and Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce - 39 per cent of organisations reported that they do not work with schools or colleges.

Further, only 42 per cent of employers offer work experience, 20 per cent offer career talks and 19 per cent provide mentoring or individual career advice.

The Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham are hoping to bolster these numbers, by working with employers to engage with their schools, and increase pupils’ knowledge of different industries, allowing them to make informed decisions about future careers.

This, the schools say, offers mutually beneficial perks to both employers and students – predominantly being able to develop their future workforces and leaders of tomorrow. 

Heath Monk (pictured), executive director of the Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham, said:

“For students, high quality work placements bring a range of benefits, both in terms of academic performance and employability.

“They increase their knowledge of an industry or sector, allowing them to make informed decisions about their future career development.

“For organisations, they enhance their reputation, while developing skills and passions that may one day be important to the future of their industry.”

In addition to knowledge and insight that students gain by engaging with employers, the Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham also say that this engagement is important in raising students’ aspirations and preparing them for their future adult lives.

Andy Marshall, Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham’s Learn to Work team manager, said: “Raising aspiration is at the heart of everything we do at King Edward VI Aston and the school prides itself on the careers and work related activities we offer to our students. 

“Although we receive tremendous support from parents and alumni we depend on the input of local employers and organisations to really bring our curriculum to life. 

“Employers visiting our school and hosting activities on their premises provide an essential role in the preparation of our students for the opportunities and challenges of adult life. 

“We are so grateful for any time and support employers are able to offer, it genuinely does mean so much to our students.”

Learn to Work supports 15 Birmingham schools with careers guidance, employer engagement and work-related event management.

If your organisation would like to work with Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham by providing work placements, offering career talks or provide mentoring and individual career advice, please contact sarah.hinksman@ske.uk.net

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