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Powering career aspirations for all young people

The Local London Careers Hub team works closely with schools across all nine of our boroughs, this includes supporting young people in special schools to ensure every young person can make their best next steps.

Over 200 students at Willow Dene, a special school in Greenwich, got to focus on their futures with some exciting employers, during three days dedicated to career planning.

Developing three “power days” focussing on careers

In March we were delighted to support Willow Dene, a special school in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, to host three “power days” focussing on career learning and pathways.

Led by Mark Clayton, Assistant Headteacher and Careers Leader at Willow Dene, the concept of the power days was developed to give students across the school an opportunity to focus on their future pathways and careers. Different age groups enjoyed tailored activities with the first day dedicated to learners in key stages 1 and 2, the second to students in key stages 3 and 4, and the third day for key stage 5.

Working with Mark and some fantastic employers, our team designed the days to encourage the students, who have a range of needs including Autistic Spectrum Condition and severe and complex medical needs, to consider a broad range of future options.

Activities on the three days were interactive, engaging, and provided experiences for students around their needs, including work experience that was provided by their sixth form business ventures.

Working with brilliant businesses

Organisations including Unity Works, Ask Apprenticeships, St John’s Ambulance, Elevate Mentoring Programme and Morgan Sindall, ensured that students got insight into the world of work, apprenticeships and skills from a broad range of potential employment sectors.

Ask Apprenticeships ran engaging activities for students including their Games Arcade, which is a suite of fun and interactive games for students to explore and learn about apprenticeships, individually or in groups. This gave students a chance to hear about the type of apprenticeships on offer. Interest was sparked, and staff will continue to support students to search for different apprenticeships as a follow-up activity.

Image of young person's hands pushing on the chest of a CRP dummy

St. John’s Ambulance ran First Responder workshops for all year groups to help students learn vital first aid skills. Not only is health and care a huge employment sector in this part of London, but first aid could be an extremely beneficial life skill for students as they move into adulthood.

Elevate Mentoring, a long-term partner of Willow Dene, shared their mentoring programme with students, and encouraged them to think about their strengths and skills.

On the final day, Morgan Sindall visited the school to run a construction workshop. Using spaghetti and marshmallows, children worked as a team to design a strong building and loved the practical nature of this activity!

“It was an absolute pleasure delivering a spaghetti challenge at Willow Dene; the participants took part with enthusiasm and determination to build the tallest tower. We are always keen to support every part of our community, to try and encourage people to join the industry and we appreciate the opportunity given to us.” A member of the Morgan Sindall team commented.

“We thoroughly enjoyed our careers power day, the children loved thinking about their strengths and interests and linking them to future career pathways!” Said Malgorzata, Badger Class Teacher. 

Students building a tower with dried spaghetti

Get involved

If you would like to help broaden young people’s career aspirations across our boroughs, please contact our Careers Hub team: careershub.east@redbridge.gov.uk

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  2. Next Half of young Londoners want a “green” career