An initiative that assists students to make well-considered career choices was launched in the Isle of Man today.
Employers from the public, private and charity sectors were at Ramsey Grammar School for the inaugural local event of Inspiring the Future.
The initiative is run by the Education and Employers taskforce, a UK charity whose partnership board includes leading industry bodies such as the CBI and those representing education.
The scheme helps schools forge partnerships with employers that provide students with the inspiration, motivation, knowledge and opportunities they need to help them achieve their potential, so benefiting the economy.
The Isle of Man Government’s Employability Working Group – which was set up to bridge gaps between school and the workplace in the face of economic challenges and growing competition for jobs – brought the scheme to the Island after Ramsey Grammar headteacher David Trace met Nick Chambers, Director of the Education and Employers taskforce, at a conference.
Tim Crookall MHK, Minister for Education and Children, and Mr Chambers carried out today’s launch.
The event saw Year 9 students at Ramsey talking to people from the world of work in a speed dating-style event, moving from table to table to take in lots of professions.
Annette Baker, who chairs the Employability Working Group, said:
‘The economic pressures facing the Isle of Man mean it’s more vital than ever that education properly equips young people for the world of work but students have a maze of information to negotiate to make the career choice that’s best for them.
‘Nothing can beat sitting down with someone actually doing a job and asking them about qualifications and personal attributes they need; what an ‘average day’ looks like; what training is on offer; what the challenges are and what provides the most satisfaction.’
Mr Trace said:
‘Students commented that they found it interesting to meet people from such different backgrounds and were reminded that they have to work hard at school if they want to be successful in life. The speed dating format meant they obtained lots of information about different professions.’
Mr Chambers said:
‘Research shows young people value the chance to meet adults who do a wide variety of jobs in different organisations. It gives them insights into career options and helps broaden horizons and raise aspirations. Via Inspiring the Future, schools and volunteers across the Island can now connect for free.’
Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK closed the event, which was attended by Clare Christian MLC, President of Tynwald, and Laurence Skelly MHK, Minister for Economic Development.
This Wednesday in the UK, Inspiring the Future launches Primary Futures, encouraging volunteers to spend an hour a year with children, discussing their job, and how literacy and numeracy skills helped them.
Locally, primaries are getting involved all week by inviting in people from a wide variety of professions – among them a priest, a police scenes-of-crime officer, a Formula 1 motor racing cameraman, the Speaker of the House of Keys and a microbiologist – to talk about their work.