Careers service’s link with school is bearing fruit

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 careers service business has been successfully working with students at Alnwick’s high school for more than a year now.

Pathfinder Northeast, which offers bespoke careers and skill development services, has been making in-roads in helping north Northumberland’s young people since it was set up by Pathfinder owner and director Gill Barrett in December 2016, after 30 years in corporate business.

Pathfinder owner and director, Gill Barrett.

Pathfinder owner and director, Gill Barrett.

Gill has worked with the Duchess’s for more than a year, particularly focusing on developing opportunities for students aged 15 to 17.

This has included an interactive school careers event with more than 35 external North-East businesses, an employability skills pilot to raise awareness of the role key skills such as communication, problem solving and teamwork play in the work place, weekly Sixth-Form forums with speakers from diverse industries, a Year 11 apprenticeship workshop, an extensive range of work experience and apprenticeship opportunities identified for Year 11/12 students and extensive, one-to-one careers support.

Hannah King, a student in Year 10 who has worked on the skills programme with Pathfinders, said: “I have really learnt a lot and it has made me think about my future career options as well as helping my confidence grow.”

Three Duchess’s students have secured jobs as a result of the programme.

Alnwick Studio Hairdressing has appointed Liam Cooke as assistant and he will complete his full training at the salon.

Smailes Construction has appointed Ryan Hudson as apprentice joiner and he will move to complete a Level 3 supervisory qualification after three years with a view to progression to site manager.

Pure Fishing appointed Kai Carruthers as apprentice engineer after a great response from Duchess’s students to its job vacancy. Kai is completing a BTEC Level 3 in engineering over the next two to three years.

Further businesses have been approaching Pathfinder with opportunities for work experience and apprenticeships for this summer. Headteacher Maurice Hall said: “We are very happy with the work we have done so far with Pathfinder.

“Our students have already had many excellent opportunities to consider their next steps and also to consider wider career ambitions.

“We are working together to further improve aspirations and self-belief among all our young people.”

Pathfinder also works at primary level, with skills programmes under way at schools including Swansfield Park and St Paul’s in Alnwick. To find out more, contact gill@pathfinder northeast.co.uk