Since January 2018 statutory careers advice guidance from the Department of Education includes newly set standards, The Gatbsy Benchmarks, that every school needs to deliver against. This includes the need to give students as many meaningful engagements as possible with employers throughout their years at secondary school.
The NLA Learning programme responds to this by offering teachers the opportunity to introduce their students to employers across the built environment by our regular careers advice and networking events. This term we have run a series of these events for young people aged 14-19yrs, promoting these to our network of London careers advisors.
Working with NLA members from a broad range of disciplines we have welcomed 40 young Londoners to these events for inspiring talks, one-to-one guidance and speed-networking activities.
On 22 October we welcomed 15 young people to Gardiner and Theobald to meet volunteers from Sir Robert McAlpine, Sustrans, Arup and Hilson Moran among other contributors who gave students insight into construction and engineering careers.
On 12 November we hosted our annual portfolio surgeries in collaboration with the London School of Architecture, giving aspiring architecture students the chance to get advice on their UCAS submissions from architect mentors from Tonkin Liu, SOM, AHMM and PDP London.
Finally, on 21 November we welcomed 10 young women from Parliament Hill School to join us for careers talks and networking from the all-female team behind the newly opened Coal Drops Yard at King’s Cross, as part of our Inspiring Women series.
After each one of these events those who attended received a work experience contact sheet of the employers who they met so we were able to provide students with the follow on opportunity of applying for placements at the various employers represented.
We are now developing a formal programme for young people looking for such placements. Our inaugural work experience project will be delivered working in partnership with careers brokerage charity 15 Billion EBP.
We know that The Gatbsy Benchmarks require that:
‘Every student should have first-hand experiences of the workplace through work visits, work shadowing and work experience to help their exploration of career opportunities, and expand their networks’.
NLA are in a unique position to help teachers achieve this for their pupils with an interest in careers within the built environment.
Many of our members and wider contacts within the industry would like to offer work experience placements but the task can often feel too time-consuming and daunting to take on, especially for smaller companies.
The NLA Learning team can act as a broker between schools and our industry contacts -linking them up for meaningful placements providing positive experience of the workplace for young people.
This July we will launch this programme as a pilot, working with one school and five employers. We will offer five pupils the chance to take part in a week long, tailor-made placement. Chosen students will be exposed to a range of disciplines, roles and opportunities within the industry and given the chance to be placed in either architecture, construction or engineering companies.
A group of 30 students from Year 12 will be invited from a London school to attend a special insight morning at NLA on 4 February 2019 where they will hear pitches from the five employers signed up to offer placements and then be given the chance to apply for these placements.
We are currently recruiting employers to sign up to take part in this free pilot where NLA will offer you a bespoke service to deliver the placement. We will help you design a meaningful and inspiring placement ensuring the experience is mutually beneficial both for the company and the student you host.
The week will be tailored to the individual needs of the student and include a trip to New London Architecture to see the New London Model. We will work with each employer to design placements that are suitable for self-motivated young people who would benefit from a high quality, challenging placement. The key outcomes for pupils will be expanding their understanding of the world of work, improving employability and raising aspirations.
This opportunity would suit your company if you either have no established work experience programme or you want to try a new approach to delivering the placements you already offer, benefiting from a bespoke work experience service offered by NLA. This programme would also help companies looking to widen access to your existing placements.