Barr Beacon Careers Advice

This section of the website has been created by our talented Careers Champions


Welcome to Barr Beacon School careers webpage.  You will find information about careers, higher education, apprenticeships and voluntary work. This webpage is intended for all students from year 7 to year 13 who are seeking to make informed choices about their future. For additional advice, phone the National Career Service: 0800 100 900

  • Career Planning

    The best way to achieve the career which we desire and deserve is by research and planning. We all have the chance to choose what we want to do for the rest of our lives and to avoid drifting into a ‘job’ not a career. Use this section of the website to help plan your career and future.

    UCAS - Find Career Ideas

    Identifying Skills
    Why Career Plan?

    Planning Your Career

    Career planning is part of what you do when you’re thinking about a new career, or you’d like to progress in the career you are in.  You might be wanting to make a complete change, or just improve where you are at the moment. Planning needs time, as there are several things to consider. When you are planning, you need to think about:

    - What you can do already?
    - What you’d like to do next?

    - What else you need to learn?Use the following links to help you plan your career.


    Where to Start

    Think about what you want out of a job and help to make your next career move the right one for you.

    More on career planning.


    Identify your skills:

    Take a closer look at the skills you use in work and at home, you may have more than you think. Do you know what skills employers want?
    Skills Health Check


    Personality Quiz

    Complete the personality quiz that links to your career. What animal are you? HERE


    Job Profiles

    Discover the key facts about careers that interest you – how to get into them, what you do and how much they pay for it HERE.

    Action Plans

    Action Plans

    Find out how to create an action plan to help you get to where you want to be. Click HERE for help with action plans.


    What is it?

    Action planning involves setting targets for yourself and deciding how you will achieve them. It involves making decisions and planning your future. You will have to become focused and think about what sort of work you want to do and will be able to do. An action plan will help you to:

    • - Take a step-by-step approach to plan for your future
    • - Take responsibility for your future
    • - Develop useful skills, like making decisions
    • - Think about yourself and assess yourself
    • - Make a record of your achievements
    • - Apply for jobs, courses or further education
    • - Recognise your achievements

    What does an action plan include?

    Aim: where you want to be.

    Action: target dates: list the steps you need to take.

    Timescale: Final date to complete your goals.

    Remember you do not want to end up in a job that you do not enjoy or take on courses or jobs that we can’t cope with.  Now is the time to find out about different career paths. You need to appreciate your own skills and strengths and have high aspirations.  Be confident and go for it!


    External Help

    Use Eclips to help you plan your career: www.eclips-online.co.uk (for password, see Form Tutor)

    What about if you change your career plans?

     Open this website: Help Guide
    Job Applications

    It’s important to plan how you’re going to complete your application form. First off, make sure you read the instructions on the form carefully. If it asks you to put the information in a certain order then make sure you do!

    The following websites will help you complete your application form accurately.

    Careers Scotland – How to apply HERE This site has useful, practical advice about filling in an application form, including links to information about applying online or over the phone. The information here is not specific to Scotland.

    Careers Wales – Top tips for application forms HERE. Information about how an application form differs from a CV.It contains advice and the do’s and don’ts of filling the form in. Some sections of this website do require you to be logged in.

    The CV Centre – Application forms HERE.  This is a CV consultancy, but there are informative articles to read, such as the application forms guide and the perfect application form.

    C.V

    The word Curriculum Vitae literally translated means the story of your life. The words Curriculum Vitae are usually abbreviated to CV or C.V. and you will sometimes see it incorrectly written in lower case as c.v. or cv. Your CV is a very important document; with it rest your hopes and dreams for the future – that next step up the career ladder, a better position, more money, new challenges, etc. Your CV therefore has to represent the best you have to offer if you do not want to miss out on that job you saw which was ‘perfect’ for you.

    These days employers often receive a lot of CVs for each advertised position – jobs advertised in national papers can often attract hundreds of applicants. So your CV has to be just that little bit special to stand out if you want to obtain interviews. The good news (for you) is that most people do not know how to write a CV and only spend a short time preparing a CV. Writing professional CVs is a skill, which these people have not learnt.

    Of course your CV can continue to work in your favour even after it has obtained an interview for you. It can help you at an interview by carefully focusing the interviewer’s mind on your good points and on your achievements. Once you have left the interview it will continue to work in your favour as the interviewer will probably reread it before making a decision, either on who should be invited to the second interview stage or who the job should be offered to.

    Look at the following websites to find out how to write a successful curriculum vitae:

    Alec.co.uk – CV tips - Easy to use site, with lots of tips and hints about getting the most from your CV and lots of sample CVs to view.


    Career Advice – CV information - This website contains information about what to include in your CV and how to match your skills and experience to the job in question.


    Monster – Complete guide to CV preparation - Useful information about writing a CV.


     Next Step – CV advice - The careers section of the DirectGov website. Includes advice on all aspects of job hunting and features a CV builder.


    PlanIT Plus – Writing your first CV - This Scottish website is straightforward and easy to use, with CV examples for you to view. There is a template CV for you to have a go at writing your own. Some of the facilities on this website do require you to be signed in.


    Prospects – CVs and covering letters - Includes information on writing a CV, what to include and not include. With sample CVs to view.


    Reeds – Career tools - Features a CV builder, where you can enter your details and it will compile the document for you. There is a charge for some of these services, and most require you to be signed in.


    Salon Jobseekers – CV advice, interviews and jobseeking - A website specially designed for those who want to work in the hairdressing or salon industries. Includes advice on CVs, interviews and job seeking. There is also an opportunity to register your CV.


    Target Jobs – Downloadable CVs - Mostly aimed at graduates, but contains several formats of CV, which you can download.


    The CV Centre – A CV centre guide - Although this is a CV writing consultancy, there are several free articles to view that contain advice on getting the most from your CV.

    Covering Letter

    When applying for jobs make sure your correspondence with potential employers is effective – the following websites will help.

    BCS – Covering and application letters

    Although this is the careers section of the British Computer Society, the information here does not just apply to jobs in IT. There is useful advice here on different types of covering and application letters and how to tailor your response to your chosen job.


    Careers Advisory Service – Application letters

    Part of the Open University website. Includes information on application and covering letters, with examples of each for guidance.


    Employment 4 Students – Covering letter tips

    Information about application and covering letters, a with do’s and don’ts section and sample letters to view.


    Do you want to find out what it is like to compete certain jobs? - http://icould.com/articles/

    Interviews

    The aim of any application, by letter, CV or application form, is to get an interview. Having got the interview it is very important that you prepare yourself properly, do as well as you can at the interview and, if you are unsuccessful, learn from the experience.


    Preparation:

    1. Find out about the organisation. What do they do? How many people do they have? Ask everyone you know, go to the library and read newspapers to try to find out as much as you can about the organisation.
    2. Think about yourself. What skills, qualities and achievements have you got that would interest the interviewer. Read your application again and pick out the things you’d like to come out at interview.
    3. Plan your journey – make sure you know exactly where and when the interview will be and let them know you will be attending. Plan Your Journey and aim to arrive at the reception area of the company at least 10 minutes before the interview. If possible, have a dry run beforehand and an alternative plan in case something goes wrong. Check the location on a map if you need to. The local library will probably have copies of local maps. For interviews in another town or city, the company will probably send you a map and details of how to find them by rail, car, bus etc. If they don’t, telephone them and politely ask the receptionist to send you details. Have a pen and paper handy in case these are given over the telephone. Decide on your preferred method of transport and check the timetable with the bus or rail company.
    4. Dress appropriately – choose clothes that suit the type of work and fit in with the organisation’s image. Aim to look clean, neat and tidy. Get your clothes ready the day before.

    Use the following websites to help you find out how to complete a successful interview:

    Prospects - Interview Tips


    Total Jobs - Tips


    BBC Northern Ireland Learning – Interview advice

    Lots of interview advice, not just specific to Northern Ireland. There is also an interview game where your responses can be rated so you can see how you’re doing.


    BBC Wales Just the Job – Interviews

    Advice from the BBC Wales website, featuring an interactive interview.


    Careers Scotland – Interview advice

    A series of articles to help you through every aspect of the interview process, with an interview game and interview pod cast with tips and advice to help you to perform your best.


    College Grad.com – Mastering the interview

    An American website, but a good basis for you to prepare some possible interview answers. This article features fifty standard questions you may be asked at interview.


    DirectGov – Preparing for an interview

    Lots of information about the interview process, from how to prepare to what to expect on the day.


    Employment 4 Students – Interview advice

    Information about what to expect from an interview, some standard questions to help you to prepare and some advice on body language.


    Monster – Coping with interviews

    Lots of articles on all aspects of the interview process, from preparation and presentation to answering questions. Also includes a virtual interview.


    Salon Jobseekers – CV advice, interviews and jobseeking

    A website specially designed for those who want to work in the hairdressing or salon industries. Includes advice on CVs, interviews and job seeking. There is also an opportunity to register your CV.


    Level 7 – The Interview Techniques Guide

    Level 7 is a step-by-step film guide to interview techniques – helping school leavers prepare for the world of work. You’ll follow Chloe as she progresses through the 7 levels and pick up essential advice along the way. Each level lasts around 5 minutes and the full programme takes half an hour in total. The films were recently acknowledged at the MEDEA Awards where the judges suggested that they should be promoted among all young men and women across the EU.

    Volunteering

    Work tasters and volunteering are an excellent ways of finding more about different jobs, networking to make links with prospective employers and gaining valuable experience to get your foot in the door in a hard to crack work area or University course.  It also gives something back to the community!

    You can get accredited for Volunteering through Vinspired

    Vinspired makes it easy for you to find people near you who would value someone like you.  What you do, where you do it and how much time you give is totally up to you. Even if you’ve only got an hour or two to spare, your help could make a big difference.



    Activity Centres

    Below is a list of services relating to Activities that can be accessed in Walsall:

    • ATC HQ, Station Rd, Aldridge,Walsall, WS9 0BJ
    • The Air Cadets is a uniformed youth organisation for 13 to 20 year olds.
    • Website: Click Here
    • Email: oc.425@aircadets.org

    • The Marina, Barns Lane, Aldridge, Walsall, WS9 8BQ
    • Aldridge Sailing Club is a small friendly club.
    • T: 01922 453505
    • Website: Click Here
    • Email: info@aldridgesc.org.uk

    • Noddy Park Road, Aldridge, Walsall, WS9 0NQ
    • Offer project work on art and theatre through drama workshops.
    •  T: 01922 458615

    • ACF Centre, Station Road, Aldridge. West Midlands, WS9 0BN
    •  The Army Cadet Force provides adventurous and community activities for young people aged 12-18.
    •  T: 01785 257804
    •  Website: Click Here
    •  E-mail: ao@staffsacfhq.co.uk


    Starting a Business

    Starting a business can be a scary prospect but don’t be put off. There is a lot of local support wherever you live to help steer you through the initial stages and keep you on trackMany young people run successful businesses.

    Setting up in business and sustaining it, especially in its early stages, is a real challenge. Young people can find it particularly hard to translate business ideas onto a working reality but with the right approach, guidance and support, young entrepreneurs can succeed. This guide looks at the first steps of setting up a business, choosing a legal structure and the rules and regulations you need to be aware of. It also has information about organisations that offer support and finance to would-be entrepreneurs under the age of 30.

    People who work for themselves are usually:

    • - Creative and imaginative.
    • - Good at getting things done.
    • - Ambitious and original.
    • - Risk takers, but sensible.
    • - Good at getting their point across.
    • - Hard working and committed.
    • - Persuasive sales people.
    • - Tough when things go wrong.

    If this sounds like you, working for yourself could be an option.  These are some points for you to consider:

    - You must be prepared to work long hours — self-employed people often end up working from the moment they get up until they go to bed, especially in the early years of a business.

    - You will need appropriate skills e.g. self-discipline, initiative, flexibility and administrative skills.

    - You will need to choose and research a product or service. Is there a market for it? Who are the prospective customers? Are there enough of them to make a successful business?


    Use the following websites to find out how to set up a successful business.

    Are you a young entrepreneur, if the answer is yes then read on?

    If you are interested in setting up your own business then go to the link below. Shell LiveWIRE, the UK’s biggest online community for young entrepreneurs aged 16-30. Established in 1982, the Shell LiveWIRE programme offers free online business advice and start-up awards of £1,000 and £10,000 funding to young entrepreneurs in the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). Join our community now to help launch your business idea into the world!

    Enterprise

    Enterprise is one of the most exciting and important subjects you will learn about. The skills and attitudes that you will learn from studying enterprise are relevant to all aspects of work and your life.To spread awareness of just how vital enterprise is, some of the most exciting companies in the UK today have got together to create this website for you. Have you already achieved a purple merit/commendation for showing enterprise in your lessons? If not, then read on and see what you need to do.

    The Enterprise Zone shows you what drives these companies forward and how they’ve developed to get where they are today. You’ll learn what makes enterprise important, how it can work in your life, and how to make the most of your own potential. And from across the whole range of the business community, you’ll see examples of enterprise being put into action. Please open the following attachment for more information.


    http://www.enterprise-zone.co.uk/students/

  • Services

    In this section you will find a variety of websites including information on STEM: science, technology, maths and engineering. Complete the correct research and you will find an exciting career path suited to you.

    Careers Advisor

    Chris Altree - Careers Advisor

    Future Morph

    Future Morph provides the following information for all students:

     My Future Finder

    A series of articles and case studies relevant to various different areas of interest. Each article illustrates some of the many exciting careers linked to a particular topic, such as music festivals or third world development, and provides further links to job profiles, case studies and other careers websites.


    Values Game

    Based on US research where a similar exercise was found to boost self-esteem and performance in exams, this game helps students reaffirm their own beliefs and values before exploring career options.


    Student Age Specific Information:

    11–14 Year Olds:

    • Interactive Quiz
       A fun tool for the user to explore the variety of job roles where science and maths can be useful, this could be anything from a chef to a food scientist.

    • Studying Science
       Information on studying science and in particular, advice on GCSE or S grade options

    • Why Study Science?
       Highlights examples of the role of science in the world today

    14–16 & 16–19 year olds:

    • Next Steps/Beyond School
       Information on the various HE or FE options available to students beyond school including apprenticeships, diplomas, degrees etc.

    • Real People
    • Searchable database of case studies of people who have studied science, engineering or maths related qualifications

    • Finding Careers Advice
       Explains where to go for advice and gives sources of general careers information, advice and guidance

    • Placements and Work Experience
       Advice, support and some tips on how best to manage these

    • Applying for Courses or Work
    • Information and guidance including completing application forms, writing a curriculum vitae or covering letter, interviews, aptitude tests and assessment centres

    • Applying to Higher Education
       Information and advice to enable students to carry out their own research into which course they should study and where they should apply to, whilst also encouraging them to compare the entry requirements for each course to make sure it is the right choice for them

    • Globe Plotter

    Science and maths have global impact – projects based in the UK could affect the lives of people in South America.  All sorts of people work together across the world to shape our lives.  What interests you and where could your future lie?

    Explore the stories placed on hotspots around the globe, mark out your opinions and figure out what floats your boat. - Click here to get started

    Website to help you find Careers in STEM subjects

    STEM

    STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

    STEM subjects are integral to the UK’s success: the UK is the world’s sixth largest manufacturer, engineering turnover is around £800 billion per year, and whilst the UK makes up only 1% of the world’s population, we produce 10% of the world’s top scientific research. Despite this, it is remarkable to note that even though STEM graduates have the potential to earn amongst the highest salaries of all new recruits, employers are finding it difficult to recruit STEM skilled staff . Alongside our need for a skilled STEM workforce, it is crucial that all young people, regardless of their future career pathway, have the STEM knowledge and skills they need to be an informed citizen in an increasingly scientific and technological society.

    www.futuremorph.org

    If you are interested in a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics then you must use this website.  The Future Morph website is designed to show you just some of the amazing and unexpected places that studying science, technology, engineering and maths can take you. Think of this as your base camp, your launch pad, the door is open come on in and explore.

    Useful Websites


    • Admissions Tests
    • www.spa.ac.uk – Supporting professionalism in admissions programme – financial support with the costs of admissions tests.
    • www.bmat.org.uk – Biomedical admissions test (BMET) applies to medicine, veterinary medicine and related courses at certain institutions.
    • www.aamc.org – Medical school admissions test (MAST) is required by Kings college London, Queen Mary and Warwick.
    • www.lnat.ac.uk – National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT) applies to all applications to undergraduate law degree at certain universities.
    • www.ukcat.ac.uk – UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) for medical and dental schools.
    • www.admissionstests.cambridgeassessment.org.uk - Thinking Skills Assessments for applicants to computer science, economics, engineering and natural sciences at cambridge universities (not all colleges).

     


    • Student Life
    • http://www.nus.org.uk/ – Student rights, finance advice, links to other organisations. Also provide NUS card for special student discount offers.

    • Gap Year
    • www.yini.org.uk – year in industry provides talented young people with paid degree relevant work placements.
    • www.yearoutgroup.org – Association of gap-year providers offering information on opportunities in the UK and overseas.
    • www.gapyear.com – Information about planning your gap year.
    • www.gapwork.com – Information about gap year jobs, volunteer placements and seasonal work abroad.
    • www.gapyearjobs.co.uk – Information about temporary and seasonal jobs in the UK and overseas.
    • www.timebank.org – Lists organisations looking for volunteers to work abroad.

    • Studying Abroad
    • www.erasmus.ac.uk – European study opportunities as part of a UK degree course.
    • www.fulbright.co.uk – Information and advice about studying in the USA.
    • www.acu.ac.uk – Website for the association of commonwealth universities – provides information on studying abroad.
    • www.braintrack.com – Links to over 8300 higher education institutions in 194 countries.
    • www.hotcoursesabroad.com – Details of part-time and holiday jobs aimed at students.


  • University

    Entry into university is intensely competitive. It is crucial that you research both universities and courses to ensure that you make the right decision.

    Do you want to find out more about free online courses: www.futurelearn.com/courses

    The free & independent way to search & compare UK degree courses & universities from Which?

    www.university.which.co.uk

    Alumni

    Please download and return our Alumni University Questionnaire

    Gemma McHugh: Fashion Management with Marketing at Southampton Solent University

    “Going to university is one of the biggest decisions you may make in your life so you need to make sure that another 3 years of education is for you! Don’t be afraid to look at a range of course options. Sometimes your first thought of subject is not what you end up studying. If I’d followed my first thought I’d be studying Maths and not Fashion Management with Marketing. Choose a course that you want to do and not what other people want you to do; remember you’re the one who will be doing the work. If you are passionate and driven about a subject then do it!

    Moving away from home to study is the best way to experience uni, because you will experience EVERYTHING that it entails. It is incredibly daunting and if you aren’t fazed about leaving home for weeks or months at a time, you haven’t put enough thought into your decision! Paying bills; doing the shopping; washing up; washing clothes; cooking; cleaning; your health; studying; assignments; deadlines; your social life are all your responsibility and your responsibility alone! For many of you, this will be the first time you have responsibilities like this and it will be a major learning curve. You may make some mistakes in the first few weeks of uni, but you will learn from these mistakes. These are the first steps to you developing into fully-fledged, independent adults.

    Sometimes it will feel like all work and no play, but you’ll learn how to balance these in time with practice. But don’t be fooled, it is A LOT of hard work, probably more than you expect. Your degree will be split into many separate units, each with multiple weekly tasks; reading and assignments whilst running at the same time. The workload may seem excessive, but it’s the same with every degree. As long as you plan your work, breaking it down into lots of easily manageable tasks and work sensibly through them, then you’ll be fine!

    Ask for help as soon as a problem arises, leaving it will just make it worse and uni tutors aren’t as forgiving as A Level tutors. Remember at school you’re one of several hundred students; at uni, you’ll be one of thousands! Universities have many support systems in place to help with any problem you may have. If it’s academic, your tutors can help with course content and personal issues. The library will help with research. The student’s union; student support networks and counselling services are all there to assist with major issues such as home sickness; anxiety; stress or bereavement. Some universities may even have an attached medical service for your physical health. Your tutors will not chase you for work; if you miss a deadline you will fail that assignment. Failed work has to be re-sat over the summer and you will only achieve a 40% pass or a fail.

    But for as much hard work as it is, you will be rewarded with amazing experiences; learning something you love, being around like-minded people, visiting new places, trips in the UK, trips abroad, nights in, nights out, friendships. You’ll meet new friends; new best friends, new ‘siblings’, new aspirational figures, peers, future colleagues and potential bosses.

    You will never be in an environment that is as creative, freeing, empowering, informing or as diverse as university!”

    Course Search

    Choosing a degree course is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.  Do plenty of research, take your time, and plan early.  Use the links below to help you find out the best course for you.Remember universities are trying to attract you, where you go is down to you – no-one else.

    What a-levels do you need for the degree you want to study?

    Applying to university? - www.thetimes.co.uk

    Open Days For Applicants - Click HERE to Browse the Opendays.com calendar of university and college open days.


    Steps to successful applications:

    Searching for the right course.

    Search the UCAS site for all full time Diploma, Foundation and Honours degree courses in the UK.


    Check you really have the right subject area for you out of 50,000 choices.

    Look at the Entry Profiles to find out more about the course and what the entry requirements are.

    Get to grips with the UCAS tariff system so you know what your qualifications are worth, in UCAS points, to Universities.

    Oxford University offers many departments of education, why not have a look at the A – Z of Departments now.

    Create a short list of options.


    UK Course Finder can help you choose your HE course. Complete the questionnaire about your interests then narrow down searches by exam grades, regions of UK, type of university.

    There’s no such thing as the ‘best’ university, just the right one for you. But these guides may help you make up your mind – be wary of what you read and get advice from College Careers Advisers.

      • Unistats uses data from entry requirements, student destinations and national student surveys.
      • Push Guide uses a wider variety of factors including money, ease of entry and student life.

    Visit Your Top Choices 1 in 3 people drop out as they have never visited the play they intend to study.

    Look to the future. Employment prospects are usually much better with a Degree. What are your Future Career Prospects?

    Conference of Drama schools A resource to help prospective students understand the range of courses on offer and the application process.

    Online university guide that helps you with everything about university. -  www.purepotential.org



    All-round information for students and parents www.universityadvice.co.uk

    If your not going to university, you may find this website useful – www.notgoingtouni.co.uk
    Gap Year

    Working to save money has outgrown the traditional Gap year activities.

    If you are an IT, Science, Technology or Business student try the Year In Industry and get a salary of £8,000 – £12,000 before going off to University.

    Taking A Year Out is still a popular way to spend a year before going to Uni. This link will take you to 35 specialist providers with UK-based, support and information from the not-for-profit ‘Year Out Group’ organisation.

    How to plan a gap year:

    Personal Statement

    If you are having any problems in writing your personal statement, try looking at these website for some advice:

    UCAS - How to Apply

    These are the main areas that you should include in you personal statement:

    • Writing about the course
    • Skills and achievements
    • Hobbies and interests
    • Work experience
    • Mature students
    • International students
    • Future plans
    Student Finance

    The higher education student finance package for 2012/13 onwards.

    As you will be aware, student finance for higher education is changing from September 2012.  Of key importance is that students will not have to pay up front for their fees and more generous living cost support is available. To help pupils, parents and the staff advising them understand all the facts a new campaign ‘future Students has been launched.

    The resources available include:

    The campaign website Direct Gov, which hosts a wealth of information specifically designed for prospective students and their parents. There is also a campaign resources page which contains extra downloadable resources that can be used in the classroom including flyers, video clips and a soon to be added presentation.


    www.bis.gov.uk/studentfinance also hosts these flyers as well as a regularly updated FAQs document.


    Student Finance England for information on fees, loans and grants.


    Calculate Your Finance 


    Tuition Fee Loans get paid directly to the Universities. You pay nothing until you have graduated and earning over £15,000.


    There is different funding for Social Work


    NHS Financial Support is available for: Nursing and Midwifery, doctor or dentist (you will be eligible for an NHS Bursary during the latter stages of your pre-registration training), chiropodist (including podiatrist), dietician, occupational therapist, orthoptist, radiographer, audiologist, speech and language therapist, dental hygienist and operating department practitioner (degree or diploma course).

    Student Life

    One of the main reasons for students dropping out of university is because they didn’t research beforehand and chose either the wrong course or wrong place to study. Whether you have definitely decided on Higher Education or maybe just toying with the idea. These pages and links will help you find the right course at the right university.


    Student Life

    Whatever your vision of student life your choice of university matters. Not every university offers the same lifestyle.

    Select a Uni and find out about accommodation costs, night life, music, keeping safe, sport & leisure, eating out, shopping – they all help to make your experience unique.

    Life Tracks offers help and advice for students at university or college. It contains useful articles, videos, features and a free question and answer service, all aimed at helping you while at university, and when making choices about your future.

    Know your rights and make sure that your studies aren’t disrupted by housing problems.

    Student Survivor Put your learning to the test, will you make it through to graduation?

  • Jobs

    Getting your qualifications is the first step onto the road of work. Trying to find a job can be a daunting task. This area will help you and guide you through trying to find a job. It lays out all of the options available to you once you have qualified.

    Open the following link to read about future jobs – Future Trends

    School Leavers Jobs - MilkRoundJobs 

    Job Hunting Skills

    Finding Vacancies

    Knowing where to look for a job is vital.  Most organisations advertise in a variety of ways:

    • - Most available jobs are not posted in any newspaper or on any job web site. They are posted on the individual company web sites. So check the “career opportunities” on local companies’ websites for job openings that are never posted anywhere else.
    • - The next best chance for finding a job is to do a lot of research. Go to all the company websites you can find who might have a job opening in your field.
    • - To begin with, only search for jobs in your local area, this is because you will already know the area you are working in and have more of an advantage if you are required to be on the move around the local area of the business.
    • - If the job count in your local area is low or there are no jobs relating to your field, move outwards to a larger scale area e.g a city rather than a local community or even a county rather than a city. Some jobs are unique or so rare that you may be required to search nationally or even internationally to find them. If you are required to travel nationally or internationally, make sure you are able to acquire.

    Basic Rights at Work

    Advice Guide

    Where to Look
    Private employment agencies/Recruitment agencies
    Some organisations chose to use recruitment agencies to find employees. Below are some useful companies in the local area are:

    Rolfe Resources
    2 Rolfe Street, Smethwick, West Midlands
    0121 565 7010


    Smethwick Joblink
    Unit 901d Smethwick Enterprise Workshop Centre Rolfe Street, Smethwick, West Midlands B66 2AR
    0121 558 4142


    Leisure Recruits
    Leisure Recruits are one of UK’s number one leisure recruitment solutions agencys.
    14 Laundry Road, Smethwick, West Midlands
    07745 145 016


    Handsworth Jobcentre Plus
    Temple Row House, 25-45 Soho Rd, Birmingham, West Midlands
    0121 507 8005


    Direct Personnel Midlands Ltd
    415 Bearwood Road, Birmingham, West Midlands
    0121 420 4155


    Proactive Personnel Ltd
    Princess Parade, West Bromwich, West Midlands
    0121 532 3232


    Pertemps
    Ideal House, 9-11 Bull St, WEST BROMWICH, West Midlands
    0121 525 5151


     The Best Connection
    The Best Connection specialises in supplying temporary workers for the industrial, driving and warehouse & distribution markets.
    309 High Street, West Bromwich, West Midlands
    0121 553 7755


    Next Job Solutions Ltd
    Trotters La, West Bromwich
    0121 500 1810 - Job Centre Plus


    National newspaper advertisements

    Internet - Some organisations will advertise directly on their own company website

    Journals/Trade Magazines - Specialist journals published by professional bodies or trade organisations may advertise jobs.

    Radio/TV - Local radio stations sometimes run job advertisements.

    In the community and in shops - Check out your local supermarkets and local shops for job advertisements

    Wages

    When you start work it is important to be aware of the different rates of pay you may be entitled to.

    The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is a minimum amount per hour that most workers in the UK are entitled to be paid.

    Current NMW rates

    Pay and Work Rights Helpline for help and advice on minimum wage contact 0800 917 2368.

    Most workers in the UK over school leaving age are legally entitled to be paid at least the NMW and all employers have to pay it to you if you are entitled to it. It makes no difference:

    • - if you are paid weekly or monthly, by cheque, in cash or in another way
    • - if you work full time, part time or any other working pattern
    • - if you work at your employer’s own premises or elsewhere
    • - what size your employer is
    • - where you work in the UK
  • Apprenticeships

    On this area of the site you will find information on apprenticeships.

    What are Apprenticeships?

    As employees, apprentices earn a wage and work alongside experienced staff to gain job-specific skills. Off the job, usually on a day-release basis, apprentices receive training to work towards nationally recognised qualifications. Anyone living in England, over 16 years-old and not in full-time education can apply. Apprenticeships can take between one and four years to complete depending on the level of Apprenticeship, the apprentices’ ability and the industry sector. The minimum salary is £2.60 per hour; however, many apprentices earn significantly more.


    Who are they for?

    Apprenticeships are open to all age groups above 16years-old whether you are just leaving school, have been working for years or are seeking to start a new career. You just need to be living in England and not taking part in full-time education. There may be different entry requirements depending on the Apprenticeship and the industry sector. However competition for places with employers can be fierce, so you will need to show that you are committed, and aware of your responsibilities to both yourself and the company who would employ you. You also need to be happy to work as both part of a team and individually, and be able to use your own initiative.


    Training

    Apprenticeships are designed with the help of the employers in the industry, so they offer a structured programme that takes you through the skills you need to do a job well. There are targets and checks to make sure that your employer is supporting you and you are making progress. As an employee you will be in employment for most of your time as most training takes place on the job. The rest usually takes place at a local college or a specialist training organisation. You can complete this off-the-job training on day release or over a number of days in a block. The amount of time you spend varies according to your Apprenticeship. It could be anything from one day every other fortnight to two days every week. So all the things you study will be useful in your job and help you succeed in your future career. Your employment will be for at least 30 hours per week. There may be a small number of circumstances where the learner cannot complete the full 30 hours. In these cases employment will be for more than 16 hours per week.

    Apprenticeship Facts - UCAS


    Do you want to find out more about apprenticeships, then open this link to watch a number of film clips?

    Amazing Apprenticeships.com Film Resources


    Apprenticeships Resource Pack

    Job Offer + Training = Apprenticeship

    Job Offer + Training Offer = Apprenticeship

    Apprenticeships combine employment with work based qualifications such as an NVQs which are assessed by carrying out tasks in the work place.

    Apprenticeships cover 180 different types of jobs including Business administration, Hospitality, Engineering, Hairdressing etc...
    For a full list click www.apprenticeships.org.uk

    Apprenticeships

    • - These can be done when you finish school, but you can start one when you are aged 16-24.
    • - You must complete the apprenticeship by the age of 24.
    • - There is more funding for Training placements for 16-18 year olds.
    • - Your assessor will visit you in the work place.
    • - An Apprenticeship will take 1-2 years to complete.
    • - Once completed this can lead onto further qualifications or an Advanced Apprenticeship.

    Commonly asked Questions and Answers

    • - Will I get holidays? Annual leave is accrued over service.
    • - Are there any entry requirements? There are different entry grades for different occupations. Some employers may ask for GCSEs at C grade or higher including Maths and English, but you do not need formal qualifications.
    • - When should I apply? Applications take place between November and April/May each year.
    • - Will I be employed? Most are ‘employed status’.
    • - How do I apply? Online application, paper based form, approaching employers directly.
    • - Do I have to go for an interview/assessment test? You will be asked to attend an interview with the employer & training provider, while some occupational areas will set an assessment test e.g. electrical installation.
    Advanced & Degree Apprenticeships

    Advanced Apprenticeships

    • - Can be completed between the ages of 16 and 24.
    • - Usually takes between 2-3 years to complete.
    • - These can lead onto full- time or part-time Higher Education.
    • - Your assessor will visit you in the work place.

    Degree Apprenticeships

    More information HERE

    Higher Apprenticeships

    Higher Apprenticeships

    • - Don’t know whether to choose Work or University? Don’t worry you may be able to do BOTH!
    • - You may be able to find an employer who will sponsor part time study for a diploma or a degree or NVQ4.
    • - You will usually need good passes in relevant Level 3 qualifications, some will take candidates with Good GCSE passes.
    • - Click  Connexions-bs.co.uk to find local examples.

    Apply

    September – Enjoy your GCSE/GCE/BTECs, think about what skills you are gaining, think about finding part time work in a related job.

    October – Research your career ideas, talk to staff about how you are getting on. Start to work on your CV and application letters, think about BACK UP PLANS

    January – Start contacting employers directly to ask about vacancies, look at the Connexions vacancies online, start applying to training providers.

    March – Attend assessment tests, complete assessments online, attend interviews, follow up employer applications. Make sure you have a BACK UP PLAN
    July – Finish your course and hopefully start apprenticeship or put your back up plan into practice.

     You can book in to talk to a Connexions Adviser or College Careers Adviser at any time in the year to get help making choices and applications.  Click here for more information: www.wmjobs.co.uk


    How to apply?

    You will need to work hard to make contact with local employers, about 60% of jobs are NEVER advertised, so you will have to seek out good opportunities.

    Finding Employers

    Search out local employers you could apply to – Use your local knowledge!

    - Talk to friends and family.

    - Use the Yellow Pages or the Internet.

    - Follow up contacts made on work experience.

    - Read the local papers, job section and classified ads for trades.

    - Location: Think about the job you are applying for and where it would be located so you can target your search e.g. Town Centre, Retail Park, Industrial Estate, Business Parks.


    Approaching Employers Directly:

    - First impressions count, make sure they are positive ones.  You will need to be proactive to make contact with employers. You could:

     - Send a Letter and CV

     - Get a parent to ring them up

     - Ring them up

    - Turn up in Person

    - Turn up in Person and leave a CV

    - Attend Careers fairs/recruitment fairs

    - Think about the following statements and which method of contact matches most statements!

    - Keen, Flexible, Polite, Presentable, you can find their work place, able to organise yourself, good communication skills, you’ve got initiative, determined, confident, the chance to impress, they will know how to contact you, lazy, not bothered, just another CV.

    - What method will you use for success?


    Apply to training providers

    - Training providers use a mix of paper and online application forms. Check out the training provider section to find out who you should be contacting for the job you are interested in. Talk to a Mr Chris Altree the Connexions PA to get the low down.

    - National training providers e.g. Construction skills & BEST receive 1000′s of applications keep a record of who you have contacted and when.

    - Can’t make an appointment? Contact the provider to re-arrange they will not chase you!

    - Taken an online or paper assessment test? Contact the provider to check your score, they will only contact you if you got a pass mark that matches the criteria for your first choice NOT your second. In some cases you can re sit the test.

    - An offer from a training provider does not = apprenticeship you still need to find an employer. Some training providers will help with this.


    Training Providers

    These providers can offer your ‘Training’ you will still need to find an employer to complete the work place assessments required.

    It is important to apply to training providers as some have good contacts with employers, and being on a training providers books is a really good selling point.

    Training providers have different methods of application; some will require you to take an assessment test.

    Providers can be national or local and cover a wide range of work areas.


    • For information on apprenticeships try the following link:
    • Future Talent
    • Future-talent is the fastest growing national apprenticeship resource for 15-19 year olds. Its free for career advisers and young people to use, and features apprenticeships, entry level jobs, courses, sponsored degrees and more.
  • Useful Information for Parents
    • Guide to BTEC - Edexcel: Guide to BTEC 
    • Parents Guide to University - HERE

      In Year 9? Don't leave GCSE options to the last minute

      If you're in Year 9 and GCSEs are still a mystery to you, it's time to find out what all the fuss is about. It might seem like a long way away, but the GCSEs you choose could influence the job you end up doing, which means sussing out your options is pretty important.

      Here's everything you need to know in one easy-to-read article.





  • Labour Market Information

    What is Labour Market Information (LMI)?

    Labour Market Information (LMI) tells us all about what is happening in the world of work, or the labour market.


    What can LMI tell us?

    • - The number of job vacancies in each job sector.
    • - The type of vacancies — if they are part-time, full-time, temporary, seasonal or permanent.
    • - General trends in the world of work — such as which types of business are doing well or failing.
    • - What kind of businesses are opening, or closing down, in your area.
    • - The skills and qualifications that employers are looking for.
    • - What qualification levels and subjects people have.
    • - How many people are looking for work.
    Why do i need LMI?

    Why do I need LMI?

    • - LMI can give you a clear view of what is happening in the world of work, so you can make realistic plans when choosing your career.
    • - Knowing about things like the number and type of job vacancies, how work is changing and what employers are looking for can make it easier to plan what to do next.
    • - It will also help you to find out about the qualifications and employability skills you will need for your career ideas.
    • - LMI can give you an idea of the job situation and help you to find out which subjects or courses you might need for your career ideas.
    LMI : Local Information

    LMI Walsall

    LMI West Midlands

    LMI Sandwell

    LMI UK

    Useful Information
  • Are you a boss or a leader?

    100 pieces of careers advice.

    Things to know before an interview.

  • National Careers Week 2017

    www.nationalcareersweek.com

    National Careers Week (NCW) is a celebration of careers guidance and free resources in education across the UK. The aim is to provide a focus for careers guidance activity at an important stage in the academic calendar to help support young people leaving education.

    Visit the National Careers Week website: NationalCareersWeek.com