Nearly 3,000 students in Coventry and Warwickshire are to take part in a virtual careers event to give them a taste of life post-education.
The Coventry & Warwickshire Careers Hub, which was launched by the Careers & Enterprise Company and brought to the region by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), has organised a Virtual Work Experience Day on Wednesday, June 23, with a live session taking place between 11am and noon.
Employers throughout the area including Severn Trent Water, Farrans Construction, Ubisoft, Willmott Dixon and GreenSquareAccord along with Think Higher, which is part of the University of Warwick Connect programme, have confirmed their involvement in the event aimed at year 10 and 11 pupils.
Enterprise co-ordinator Emma Culey from Coventry & Warwickshire Careers Hub, who is part-funded by Think Higher Coventry and Warwickshire which is based at the University of Warwick, said this was a fantastic opportunity to give a glimpse into the world of work despite the pandemic.
“This has been a tough time for students considering their options careers-wise because usually they would have been organising work placements at this time of year,” she said.
“By speaking to schools and colleges throughout Coventry and Warwickshire it became clear that there was a need for a virtual work experience event.
“We have spent the last few months organising it and the response from schools and businesses has been brilliant.
“With our links to local businesses, we have been able to sign-up companies in different sectors so students will be able to find out about a whole range of potential career opportunities rather than just one if they had been able to do a work placement in person.
“The day will involve tasks for the students, group tasks and advice on preparing for the workplace after leaving education so we hope it will prove really valuable and worthwhile.
“We already have just under 3,000 students taking part and although the activities are focused on students in year 10 and 11, we are working with all schools to make sure it suits their needs.”
Sarah Fearon, Community Business Partner at Farrans Construction, added: “We are committed to leaving a lasting legacy in the areas in which we work, and we recognised quickly the impact that COVID-19 would have on our physical work placements.
“Farrans is absolutely delighted to be partnering with Coventry & Warwickshire Careers Hub to help deliver virtual work experience to almost 3,000 students on June 23.
“The opportunity to engage with industry professionals for virtual work experience will act as a CV skills builder, increasing future employment prospects for young people and provide a fantastic steppingstone to help tackle social inequalities, create a thriving economy underpinned by the skills set of local people and empower and strengthen communities.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of this innovative initiative to help ignite the spark in STEM and wider construction industry.”
Marion Plant, board director and chair of the CWLEP Reset Taskforce and the Productivity and Skills Business Group, said: “Supporting the development of skills and promoting career opportunities in Coventry and Warwickshire is one of the key action points of the CWLEP’s Strategic Reset Taskforce.
“It is vital we provide highly-skilled jobs to encourage young people to train and stay in the area and promote the skills which are needed in specific sectors such as electrification, health and social care, and logistics to boost the economy in the long-term.”