The annual ‘Work Matters’ conference organised by The Nottingham Emmanuel School has given 500 students from across Nottinghamshire access to 28 separate industrial, business and educational experts, in order to inform students of the sheer range of ambitious pathways available to them.
The event, held at the Nottingham Trent University’s Newton Building gathered students from The Nottingham Emmanuel School, Trinity School, Bluecoat Academy, National Academy Hucknall and Magnus C of E Academy Newark.
“The organisation of the event has been an on-going project since spring and Niall Ruane, Laura Eatherington and Caterina Dimilta Jones from Emmanuel have been instrumental to its success, -liaising with leading businesses, Nottingham Trent University, Bishop Tony from the Diocese of Sherwood and the five schools involved.
The Work Matters conference is so much more than a careers fair –it is an opportunity for students to really consider pathways into sectors that they have never even heard of let alone considered working in before.
We wanted students to look beyond the starting salary, the employment perks and instead to really consider the level of fulfilment and job satisfaction that entering a career in a particular field could have.
All of the keynote speakers and business representatives were willing to give up their time to support the event because they believe passionately in supporting the local community and in creating employment opportunities to help drive forward the local economy,” said Kerry Wiltshire, Assistant Principal at The Nottingham Emmanuel School.
One of the keynote speakers was Bishop Tony Porter (Bishop of Sherwood) who said he thought the opportunities on offer at the conference was invaluable. “When I was 16 years old, I knew what job my Dad did, and I knew what my PE teacher did and I hadn’t got a clue about careers beyond that.
That didn’t motivate me to study because I couldn’t really see beyond it so today it has been a real privilege to hear from the speakers, Rabbi Tanya Sakhnovich (Nottingham Liberal Synagogue) about her experiences, Alex Peace-Gatsby (Director of Musto and Scout’s Chief Commissioner for England) and her totally different experience and Gary Cryer and his military background and body guard services.
We hope it will spark young people to think that it is worth doing well in their studies because they can see something beyond that. The day is practical, but above all else it is inspirational and my hope is that the students will meet someone who will spark them to investigate the professions here further, and I hope that spark turns into a bonfire!”
Molly Mansfield, a Student Ambassador from the Nottingham Emmanuel School said she attended the event last year as a year 12 student and said it was a great source of information.
“The event has been really successful again. I think that for the students here today the world of Universities or the workplace still seem a long way off, but hopefully they will have learned a lot like we did, and take the opportunity to source suitable work experience placements for the coming summer in preparation for their UCAS application”.
Good advice was given to students by inspirational local business woman Alex Peace-Gadsby, Director of Musto and Chief Commissioner for Scouts England; she spoke explicitly about how to appear professionally competitive in a formal interview. But her own experiences perhaps showed students something more.
She said, “I would love to think we can inspire these young people to think bigger.
My Grandparents worked in the mines and the bar industry, a working men’s club in fact, and so my background is very ‘local’.
I hope the advice my mother gave to me chimes with those here and that is that no one can ever take your education away from you and by taking those stepping stones now, it will open up a world of opportunity for you in future.”