Careers event hailed a success by school and companies alike

Duchess's Community High School careers day.
 Lindsey Finnie of Pure Fishing talks to pupils Josh McDonald, Aimee Anderson and Erin Murray.
Picture by Jane Coltman
Duchess's Community High School careers day. Lindsey Finnie of Pure Fishing talks to pupils Josh McDonald, Aimee Anderson and Erin Murray. Picture by Jane Coltman

A major careers event took place at Alnwick’s high school last week, organised by a firm whose aim is to help every young person become the best at whatever they want to be.

The start of a link-up between the Duchess’s Community High School and Pathfinder North East, a tailor-made careers service business, last Wednesday’s interactive event was the first of its kind for the school.

Duchess's Community High School careers day.
 The North East Ambulance Service display was popular with students.
Picture by Jane Coltman

Duchess's Community High School careers day. The North East Ambulance Service display was popular with students. Picture by Jane Coltman

Open to all 1,100 pupils from Years 9 to 13, it attracted more than 35 businesses, from locally-based companies including Hotspur 1364, Complementary Therapy Clinic, The White Swan, George F White, Alnwick Studio, Pure Fishing, Arcinova and Northumberland Estates, to North East-based employers such as Nissan, Accenture and CK21 Engineering.

Northumberland College plus Northumbria, Teesside and Sunderland universities also attended the event, whose aim was to raise awareness of the extent of options available to students from apprenticeships and full-time roles to college and university courses.

Many students commented that they had no idea that such a broad range of roles existed, after having met many of the businesses.

Several of the firms are actively looking at future resource needs and some students have already made some initial contacts with regards to potential employment opportunities.

Duchess's Community High School careers day.
 Students Liam Cooke and Kate McLeod with Beth Laidler and Ginette Meredith from Alnwick Studio.
Picture by Jane Coltman

Duchess's Community High School careers day. Students Liam Cooke and Kate McLeod with Beth Laidler and Ginette Meredith from Alnwick Studio. Picture by Jane Coltman

The school focused its entire day’s timetable on career development, with workshops being run alongside the careers event planned by Pathfinder.

One of the school governors, Gustav MacLeod, said: “The governors recognise the importance for the young people in the Alnwick area to meet with companies and services operating nationally and locally.

“So, for awareness raising and possible employment, this was a most successful event.”

Martin Allenby, assistant head responsible for careers, added: “It was a wonderful event that our students took a lot from. The opportunity to meet with and explore future careers with current employers both locally and nationally was a fantastic opportunity for our students.

“We are delighted with the feedback and interest it has generated. We are so grateful for the support from everyone involved.”

Feedback from the businesses

Avril Scott Marketing’s Avril Scott: “There was a real buzz about the day.”

Lindsey Finnie, Pure Fishing’s senior HR manager: “Pathfinder were fantastic to work with and hugely instrumental in making this event happen. We look forward to working with them more closely in the future.”

Grant Ottignon-Harris, Pure Fishing’s managing director: “We were delighted with the level of interest we received at the event, particularly from students interested in a career in engineering or securing a role in a business or international environment. We hope to be able to be able to offer employment to a number of young people from the school following the event.”

Iain Hush, from Newcastle-based CK21: “The careers event was excellently organised. There were lots of students interested in following the apprenticeship path taken by their own undergraduate Kieran Smith. It’s encouraging to see the high school taking such as active role developing business links with the business community.”

If you would like to learn more about what Pathfinder Northeast can offer, visit www.pathfindernortheast.co.uk