THE world of apprenticeships was opened up to students studying at a work-focused school.
Year 10 students at BMAT STEM Academy, in Harlow, are the first cohort at the school which works closely with industry experts to prepare them for their future careers.
Ann Ashworth, from Pearson Education, spent an afternoon explaining to students about the apprenticeship opportunities available at the organisation.
She was joined by apprentices Harry Sheehan, 18, and Lauren Smithers, 20, who were able to answer questions about their chosen pathways.
Mrs Ashworth, also a governor at the school, told students Pearson not only writes qualifications and produces text books, but is also a corporate employer with 4,000 employees in the UK, including those based in Harlow.
The head of Pearson employee apprenticeship programme said the scheme recruits 50 apprentices per year.
She told students: “It is not always about academic achievement, but how much you make yourself stand out. We look for enthusiastic, keen young people who are excited to work with Pearson. We can have 500 applications for three apprenticeships, so we need to see that real passion to make a difference. We sometimes turn down graduates in favour of those with just GCSE if we feel they are the better candidates.”
Harry works for Pearson and attends Pearson College London to study for a chartered business management degree. His position will see him work at international offices in Dubai, America and the Philippines.
He told students: “It was not that long ago I was in your position.
“What I learn at uni goes straight into what I’m doing on a day to day basis. It gives the perfect opportunity to carry what you are learning into your job.”
Lauren is working as a marketing executive and handles the back end of the organisation’s website, social media and blog. She will achieve the equivalent of an A-level at the end of her apprenticeship.
Mrs Ashworth, who is offering BMAT STEM students work experience opportunities in the future, said: “Working with BMAT STEM gives us a foot in the door with understanding what schools are looking for from employers. It’s also an opportunity to build relationships and for us to spot talent. We both get something out of the partnership.”
Lisa Tooley, head of school at BMAT STEM, said: “Things are changing and students need to open their eyes to all of the opportunities out there.
“What better way than getting paid doing what you love and learning at the same time. That is what will make you stand out.”
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