Schools across the West Midlands are being encouraged to sign up for a free Virtual Open Week, designed to help young people explore and fulfil their career aspirations, despite being in lockdown.
The pilot scheme, aimed at those in years 10 and 11, will connect students with local colleges across the West Midlands, supporting the next steps towards their future careers by enabling them to attend a number of ‘open days’ – hosted free at www.launchyourcareer.com – combining live sessions with local college staff, overviews of courses, links to websites and other sources of information as well as careers’ advice and guidance.
The Virtual Open Week, which will take place from 22nd-26th June, has been organised by Dev Clever and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), supported by the Titan Partnership and the Career Development Institute (CDI), who are all passionate about reaching out and helping students plan for their future, despite the current restrictions still in place in the UK.
Chris Jeffries, CEO of Dev Clever, said: “We all know the coronavirus crisis has caused disruption for school children across the country, not least for those preparing to take the next steps and we have a passion at launchyourcareer.com to make sure this is considered and students feel supported in making the right choices for them.”
To take part, schools will need to register at https://launchyourcareer.com/virtualopenweek and encourage students to create their own personal profile. Schools that register before the 8th June will also be entered into a prize draw, with a chance to win a Lenovo Mirage Solo virtual reality system worth over £300.
Once registered, students create a profile that identifies the careers and subject areas that interest them the most based on their personality and more. They will then be matched to the sessions that best fit with their choices and invited to attend. Participation in the open week is also free for colleges. The platform presents an opportunity for them to promote their courses and communicate with students in the area, providing an innovative route to market themselves during these unprecedented times.
Chris added: “We know students should be starting their exploration process and looking into the options available to them by attending various college open days – something that obviously can’t happen at the moment. We’re also aware of colleges trying to present their own virtual open days, which spurred us on to pull something innovative and
exciting together, that sees our partners, schools, colleges and students working together to provide a well executed, considered open event.
“Working together we hope to create real momentum and a focus; providing both pupils and colleges the chance to connect with each other on a large scale, despite the restrictions.”
The Virtual Open Week has been designed to enhance www.launchyourcareer.com, an intuitive platform that takes young people on a journey of career discovery and is free for schools and students to use for a limited time only. Students are encouraged to explore their career and future learning options, while schools have visibility to track their progress via a ‘careers advisor dashboard’. The platform was created to support the delivery of career guidance in schools across the UK, and assist schools working towards the Gatsby Benchmarks and OFSTED requirements.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Our young people are our future. Their contribution will be vital as we rebuild our region’s economy in the longer term after the Covid-19 crisis, so it’s critical that we support young people through this period and beyond. The Virtual Open Week is a great initiative during this difficult time to help young people from across the West Midlands to find out more about the careers that interest them most. We are proud to be supporting the Week, and I would urge all students to make the most of this opportunity to explore what’s on offer from our local colleges.”
Carolyn Chapman-Lees, CEO of Titan Partnership, said: “Titan Partnership is absolutely delighted to be supporting this Dev Clever project as it very clearly addresses the much-needed help that young people need as they explore their future careers and the skills they will need. This dedicated week will help young people explore their career options whilst also raising awareness and aspirations. Ultimately it will assist them in realising their future potential. In these challenging times, this project will not only support our young people to make important decisions, it will help our schools and colleges to work together virtually, creating real benefits, efficiencies and tangible impacts for everyone involved, most importantly for our young people.”
To register for the Open Week, visit https://launchyourcareer.com/virtualopenweek.
If you are a local college that would like to participate please contact firstname.lastname@example.org