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I am the Head of White Bridge College. I’ve been in this role for three years. In my first two years, I met students who would openly tell me that nobody cared about them, and that they were lost, and had no future.

The level of their aspiration was on the floor. It was heart-breaking. I’ve used this agenda, and worked with Sophie, our Enterprise Coordinator, to drive change in this college. 

Imagine being one of those students. You don’t think there is a career or a job opportunity for you when you finish school.

As a teacher, changing this belief is an enormous task – but a worthy one.

I did a course on careers education, run by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

I learned that with a bit of help, we could do things differently.

We had to give students the exposure to employers and work-based learning. I knew it would make them realise that they have got equal or better skills than others. It would give them a fair crack at life. A sense of success.

EVERYBODY NEEDS A COLIN

Colin Ransom is our Enterprise Adviser at White Bridge College.

He is a retired volunteer willing to give up his time to talk with our school, and our students to create different outcomes.

He prepares students for the world of work.

He has taken his expertise from the workforce and combined it with our knowledge and our skills with schools.

He has been able to help us work in a more coordinated way to make sure that our young people have got significant and constant exposure to employees.

Colin has brought structure to what we do.

A YEAR CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING

Twelve months ago, Colin did a piece of work with us around Careers fairs.

He highlighted that they didn’t cater for everyone – particularly students who didn’t see university as a fit for them.

We needed to transform young peoples’ experiences with employers – so that they catered for everyone. Colin showed me that employers generally love the idea of working with young people in schools – so we tailored these encounters to be more meaningful – across all sectors and trades.

With this approach, activities and encounters have increased.

The careers fairs that were once attended weren’t always relevant for all students.

Colin, through his networks increased employer engagement in our area. Businesses now frequently come to the school and do pop up events, so that students have a different kind of exposure to the workforce.

By choosing the right employers at a local and national level, our students are more engaged, discovering new skills and opportunities they never thought possible.

MEANINGFUL OUTCOMES

We now have 40 – 50 local, national and independent employers and charities wanting to mentor our students. This has created a change in the classroom.

In just twelve months, our students are more exposed to real opportunities.

Our dream now is to be part of a national agent around careers and enterprise exposure. We want to speed up the process.

Careers education is a team effort. If there is any way that we can help you, and you can help us, we need to talk, we need to meet, we need to make the students involved.

We need to make sure that this is a sustainable programme for young people for years and generations to come.  

To read our Enterprise Adviser Network evaluation, read here. 

Or, give an hour here