Careers

Careers

Careers Advice and Guidance Strategy

The aim of the careers department is to provide information, advice and guidance to pupils to help them surface their career interests and identify the choices (academic and experience) that they will need to make to realise their career aspirations.

To achieve this the careers team and tutors will:

  1. Assist students in surfacing their career interests
  2. Assist students in mapping out the path to any particular career
  3. Help students identify the choices they need to make to position them for their chosen career

The main focus of the careers department is in helping students to find out what careers are right for them and what subject choices they need to make. As most of our Sixth Form students aspire to and succeed in moving on to full time university education, there is also a dedicated team of tutors to support students through this process. In the Lower Sixth, through our Future Steps programme (see curriculum/A level booklet), students collectively receive preliminary advice regarding the process which is consolidated by an intense UCAS course in the Summer term following AS exams. In the Upper Sixth, each student is assigned a personal UCAS tutor who personally oversees their application. The Future Steps programme also provides an introduction to employability skills and to non-university routes into careers, which are of increasing relevance given the Government’s introduction of the Levy to fund apprenticeships, leading to a dramatic increase in Higher and Degree Level Apprenticeships.

Psychometric Profiling

To help students explore their career interests we use a web based careers advice and guidance package called Fast Tomato (www.fasttomato.com).   Following some simple but powerful assessments, Fast Tomato offers a wealth of career, course and subject information, coupled with independent advisor support, to inspire students and to help them make informed decisions about their future. 

Using sophisticated psychometric assessments to highlight each person's interests, attitudes and motivations, Fast Tomato suggests individualised and personally tailored careers and courses. Students are given accurate and highly relevant career and subject information, including indications of the routes they may be able to take into the careers they are considering.

Students are introduced to Fast Tomato in Year 9 and will be encouraged to use the site to help them with subject choices for both GCSE and A Level.  They will continue to use the tool through to Year 13 where it also has a wealth of support and guidance on university courses.

Careers Events and Visits

Each year there are regular careers related events and visits, as well as one-off opportunities such as university science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) events.  These regular events include:

Employability Seminar:

Seminar on employability and related skills for all Year 13. The seminar involves discussion of career opportunities, including some of the less obvious ones, and the sorts of skills and qualities that help make a student employable. Afterwards, there is a team task that allows students to put some of those skills into practice.

Careers ‘Speed Dating’:

This event is open to Year 11 and above, and gives students the opportunity to explore their options with volunteers drawn from around 20 different careers. The event runs for two hours in the evening, typically from 7 to 9pm, with small groups of students moving between our seated "career volunteers", who help stimulate discussion around their career and respond to their questions. This is an event for which we welcome the assistance of parents who may wish to share insights into their respective careers (please contact Mr. Charlton if interested).

Careers Convention for Taunton area independent schools:

We participate in an annual convention, which the schools take turns to host. This year it saw about 50 organisations and employers meet students from all the independent schools in the Taunton area, over the course of the day. It is a very useful opportunity for students to meet and talk to potential employers and other organisations such as universities and trade associations. We take all Year 11 students to the conference by coach.

Sixth Form Careers Dinner:

Over a three course meal, students have the opportunity to talk informally with invited professionals (including some parents), honing their social skills and learning more about a range of professions that interest them as they circulate between courses. The theme this year was business, commerce and entrepreneurship; students and volunteers alike found it very interesting.

National Apprenticeships Show:

From Airbus, to KPMG, to Jaguar Land Rover, to GlaxoSmithKline and JP Morgan, an increasing number of employers are recruiting directly from school and growing their own talent, often resulting in a degree as well as a job (and no student debt).  Higher and Degree Level Apprenticeships, available in over 40 sectors, typically run for up to 5 years, including a mix of employment and education leading to a degree, diploma or Chartered status. The National Apprenticeship Show features representatives from the government backed HLA scheme and lots of employers who offer HLAs. We have also held a presentation on apprenticeships at School.

Career Spotlight Talks:

This programme of half-termly talks is aimed at providing a focus on career in specific fields and on the speakers’ different – often fascinating - career journeys. The talks are aimed at Year 12 but interested others are welcome. This year, we have secured a regular slot during Future Steps, when a maximum number of Sixth Form students can participate. Careers that have been spotlighted ranged from finance through business management to animation.

Employability Competency Framework

Amongst the staff at school we have ex-industry HR specialists who have up to date experience of recruitment and selection.  Based on their advice on how employers use competency based recruitment and selection we have developed a competency framework with typical 'employability' type competencies for our sixth form students.

As part of the Sixth Form Future Steps programme students are introduced to competency based interviewing and are encouraged to gain the experience required to be able to build up a record of competencies that will stand them in very good stead when they come to apply for their first jobs.

Support is also available within the careers department for students to build a portfolio of evidence against the elements of the competency framework.

Alternatives to University

Although by far the majority of our students go straight on to university, there are now many alternatives to accessing graduate level careers.  Some of our most prestigious employers recruit many people each year through Higher and Degree Level Apprenticeship programmes which start after completing A Levels.  Typically these programmes will take students to at least foundation degree level and in some cases right through to Masters degree level.  It may take longer to get the academic qualifications, but if this kind of career is for you then you will be paid from day one and you will be getting valuable work experience as you learn, without incurring student debt.  Such programmes are available with Rolls Royce, Glaxo-Smithkline, PWC, EDF, JP Morgan and many more.

http://www.rolls-royce.com/careers/students_and_graduates/a_level_programmes/

http://uk.gsk.com/en-gb/careers/apprenticeships/

http://www.pwc.co.uk/careers/schools/careers/what-are-apprenticeships.jhtml

http://www.edfenergy.com/careers/early-careers/apprenticeships/business-apprenticeship

https://careers.jpmorgan.com/careers/programs/financial-services-apprenticeship

http://apprenticeships.org.uk/employers/higher-apprenticeships/higher-apprenticeships-frameworks.aspx

https://www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsearch

Career Mentors

Once students have some ideas about the kind of career they are interested in, their Tutor or the Head of Careers will check our database of career mentors to try and find someone who can give some advice on this career path.  Our career mentors are Old Wellingtonians and current and fomer parents who volunteer their time to offer advice on what it is like to work in a particular field and how to get into it in the first place. Career mentoring has most often been used by Sixth Formers but is open to all and is positively encouraged from Year 11 upwards. Introductions are made via parents.

If you are interested in becoming a career mentor then please contact Matthew Charlton (Head of Careers) at m.charlton@wellington-school.org.uk.

PSHEE

There is a careers element to each year’s PSHEE programme in both the Lower School and the Upper School. Pupils are introduced to different aspects of the world of work at appropriate stages in their time at School, by their tutors or a careers specialist. This includes basic career surfacing along with an awareness of the world of work, early in their time at Wellington, and builds through psychometric profiling, consideration of options and delivery of more specific advice at a later stage.

Resources

As well as all the huge variety of online resources available through Fast Tomato we also hold a wide range of careers related books in the school library and in the careers office.  These range from giving an overview of a range of careers through to making job applications, preparing for psychometric tests and developing interview skills.

There are a number of publications available in the careers office in Northside, including those listed below. There are multiple copies of some, which can be taken away:

  • A School Leaver's Guide to Career Options
  • The 100 Most Popular Employers for School Leavers
  • The Top 100 Graduate Employers
  • Your Gap Year
  • Work Your Way Around the World
  • Teaching English Abroad
  • Good University Guide
  • Careers with a Science Degree
  • Target Careers: Construction, Engineering & Property
  • Paths to Professional Careers - a Parent's Guide
  • Becoming a Solicitor
  • Routes into Law
  • Live, Learn Earn (KPMG)
  • Looker, and Soldier (Army magazines)
  • brochures on numerous other career options, e.g. medicine, healthcare science, nursing, GCHQ, architecture, surveying, engineering, Royal Navy, Royal Marines, accountancy (through ICAEW or AAT) etc.
  • The Guide (for application to Australian and NZ universities)
  • various universities' and colleges' brochures

Students are also encouraged to drop by the careers office for “Coffee & Careers”, or to make an appointment with Mr. Charlton.

Ongoing events – What’s On Offer?

Careers - ALL YEARS

Careers input is now made available to all year groups in PSHEE, including the use of FastTomato.

Career Spotlight Talks - LOWER SIXTH

This programme of regular talks is aimed at providing a focus on career in a specific fields and on the speakers’ different career journeys. It is aimed at Year 12 but interested others are welcome. Careers that have been spotlighted ranged from finance through business management to animation.

Pearson Employability Seminar - UPPER SIXTH

Seminar by a representative from Pearson College, on employability and related skills for all Year 13. The seminar involves discussion of career opportunities, including some of the less obvious ones, and the sorts of skills and qualities that help make a student employable. Afterwards, there is a team task that allows students to put some of those skills into practice.

Careers ‘Speed Dating’ - YEAR 11 & UP

This event is open to Year 11 and above, and gives them the opportunity to explore their options with volunteers drawn from over 20 different careers. The event runs for 2 hours in the evening, typically from 7 to 9pm, with small groups of students moving between our seated "career volunteers", who help stimulate discussion around their career and respond to their questions. This is an event for which we welcome the assistance of parents who may wish to share insights into their respective careers.

Careers Conference for Taunton area schools - YEAR 11 & UP

We are participants in the annual convention which typically sees 40 organisations and employers meet students from all the independent schools in the Taunton area, over the course of the day. It is a very useful opportunity for students to meet and talk to potential employers and other organisations such as universities and trade associations. We take all Year 11 students to the conference by coach.

Sixth Form Careers Dinner - SIXTH FORM

Over a three course meal, students have the opportunity to talk informally with invited professionals (including some parents – let Mr. Charlton know if yours are interested), honing their social skills and learning more about a range of professions that interest them as they circulate between courses. The theme this year is business, commerce and entrepreneurship.

Higher Level Apprenticeships Evening - YEAR 11 & UP

From Airbus, to KPMG, to Jaguar Land Rover, to GlaxoSmithKline and JP Morgan, an increasing number of employers are recruiting directly from school and growing their own talent, often resulting in a degree as well as a job.  Higher Level Apprenticeships, available in over 40 sectors, typically run for up to 5 years, including a mix of employment and education leading to a degree, diploma or Chartered status. The HLA evening features representatives from the government backed HLA scheme and employers who offer HLAs, as well as returning students who are undertaking HLAs.

Coffee & Careers - ALL YEARS

For informal careers advice in the Careers Office in Northside. Discuss opportunities or peruse the careers literature over a cup of proper coffee!

Careers Team

Head of Careers: Matthew Charlton m.charlton@wellington-school.org.uk
Head of Sixth Form: Dan Millington dm@wellington-school.org.uk
Armed Forces careers liaison David Colclough d.colclough@wellington-school.org.uk
Old Wellingtonians contact Linda Holden l.holden@wellington-school.org.uk