YOUNG people from Harlow and Epping found their own genius as they began building their futures.
The students from Burnt Mill Academy and BMAT STEM Academy, in Harlow, and Epping St John’s School, in Epping, came together for the first Burnt Mill Academy Trust (BMAT) careers day.
The Build My Future event, at BMAT STEM Academy, saw 100 Year 9, 10 and 11 students complete a personality questionnaire to establish their strengths before looking at developing skills needed for the world of work.
Careers advisor Hayley Lancaster, of All Together, works with the Trust to give students inspiration for their future career paths.
She delivers careers programmes and gives one to one guidance to students, including completing college, apprenticeship and university applications.
She said: “The students have been amazing. We want them to take away from this the message that everyone can be a genius in their individual way. They have discovered themselves and taken the opportunity to have conversations with real employers to seek advice and guidance.”
Colleague Amanda Sims spoke with students about finding their individual genius and explained how everyone has a strength they need to discover and work to.
She told them: “Today is about making you think about your futures in a different way. Your futures are, as yet, unwritten. You are here today to start thinking about how you create your own future.
“Mixing with students from other schools will help to build your confidence. When you meet new people in life, new opportunities happen.”
Students also attended sessions on writing personal statements and CVs and learnt about apprenticeships, before meeting with visiting local employers during a careers fair.
Year 10 students from Epping went along on the day. Harper Kubaisi said: “It has been really interesting. It has given us things to look at to help us to find a job which matches us.
“I don’t yet know what I want to do, but today has helped me to start thinking about it.”
Her teacher Sonia Ahmed, lead practitioner in science, said: “I am so impressed with how the students have embraced this opportunity. Mingling with students from other schools has helped to boost their confidence.
“I think they will go away from this thinking about the options open to them.”
Employers on the day included Princess Alexandra Hospital, Lloyds Bank, Bank of England, Raytheon, GlaxoSmithKline, Pearson, Anglia Ruskin University, HNE Media, Pure Structures Ltd, Construction Industry Training Board, Sporting Futures and Hertford Regional College.
Joseph Lawson, a structural engineer from Pure Structures, was pleased to see students interested in a career with his company.
He said: “We are here to open their minds and help them to understand about structural engineering.
“We are working closely with BMAT STEM as they are focusing on the engineering route, which helps us. It is great that students come to us already having an interest in the work we do.
“I wish there had been a day like this when I was at school.”
BMAT STEM works closely with local employers as it trains young people to become the next generation of workforce.
She said: “Today has given students an opportunity to speak with a range of local employers and to find out what career options are available to them, so they can start to plan their futures.”
Shawki Bakkar, assistant headteacher at Burnt Mill, took Year 9 and 10 students along. He said: “Many students will have come along today not knowing exactly what they want to do with their futures, but hopefully this gives them a push in the right direction.
“It is a really positive thing and great to create links with local employers in this way.”
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