Stromness Academy pupils have had a busy week of careers inputs as part of the school’s second annual Careers Week.
The week has been developed to support pupils in S3, who will shortly be making their subject choices for the Senior Phase (S4-6), which can influence where they will end up after school.
The purpose of Careers Week is to inspire and inform pupils about the variety of careers available and help them imagine what they could do in the future. Throughout the week, pupils hear talks from local business people, undertake work place visits, watch demonstrations and attend a careers fair in the school where they can speak to a range of employers.
The pupils were introduced to the week’s activities on Monday where the whole year group took part in an interactive assembly. Those present took part in games which were designed to expose them to a variety of different jobs – including many they may never have heard of.
They also heard an inspirational talk from Raymond Besant, a local wildlife cameraman. Raymond spoke about his career journey so far and encouraged the youngsters to choose subjects they are interested in and then find a course or job that suits those interests. He also reminded them that there is no one right route into any career.
In the afternoon, six pupils visited the water test centre on Flotta to learn more about the careers available in the energy sector.
We returned to the school on Wednesday with Orkney College UHI’s Hospitality Department who put on a cookery demonstration over lunchtime. There was an enthusiastic crowd of youngsters from throughout the school who watched Daniel and Ingrid cook up steak and decorate a cake with chocolate ganache and spun sugar work.
They were even more enthusiastic about trying the finished product!
Thursday started with a talk from Chris Moule, Head of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Robert Gordon University.
Chris challenged the pupils to design a backpack of the future by drawing their concept, then speaking to their classmates (or customers) about their day-to-day life and what they find difficult. These discussions should help them refine their design and make it more customer focused. Finally, they had to make prototypes of their design using plasticine, pipe cleaners, card and lolly sticks.
Pupils came up with some really creative designs incorporating lots of innovative ideas, including phone chargers, alarms for homework, a heater and one backpack even walked by itself!
Pupils then headed down to the harbour to get a tour of Northlink Ferries. Pupils were given a tour of the shoreside departments including freight, administration, marketing and the call centre. They were then taken onto the ship and given a tour of the Bridge, mid-ship (the passenger areas) and the engine room.
This was a really informative visit and helped them see there are many opportunities available with a company like Northlink - they don’t just have to be interested in working at sea.
The week concluded with a Careers Fair organised by DYW Orkney which was open to pupils in S3-6. We were joined by 12 local businesses, Orkney College and Skills Development Scotland to help these young people learn more about some of the jobs available in local businesses.
There was also a chance to learn more about the pathways available into these careers, including apprenticeships and further or higher education qualifications.
As well as these activities, different subject areas invited local people in to speak about how they use different school subjects in their jobs. You can read more about these talks on the school’s Facebook page.
The week has really challenged pupils to start thinking about where they may like to go when they leave school. We have been delighted to see how the pupils have embraced the activities they have been asked to take part in and how well they interacted with employers at the Careers Fair.
We would also like to thank all the businesses and individuals who have supported the whole week by attending events, giving talks and offering workplace visits.