Pupils from Saint Paul’s Catholic High School in Wythenshawe gained a taste of what real life’s all about when they recently undertook work placements. The school organizes work placement opportunities for its Year 10 pupils providing them with a great chance to experience working life and develop the valuable skills they’re going to need for the future.
The placements prepare the pupils for the transition from education to work and enable them to gain an insight into working life. The work experience provides practice in making job applications and going for interviews and it gives pupils the opportunity to collect a portfolio of evidence which they can show prospective employers highlighting skills such as team working, motivation, problem solving and communication skills.
Whilst on work experience, pupils are able to see the kinds of “employability” skills and attitudes required by employers; such as problem solving, flexibility and the ability to work with others.
“The real-life connections made during work experience are important in creating relevance for pupils,” explained Mr Mike Whiteside, Assistant Headteacher at Saint Paul’s. “The pupils enjoy the opportunities that they get to work with employers and are motivated by them, thinking more critically about their future career options and better seeing the relevance of their school or college work to future employment. Following the placement, pupils are clearer about what they wanted to do in their future careers. This has a strong impact on pupils’ aspirations for the future, as well self-esteem, social skills and enjoyment of learning.”
Mrs Fiona Minshall, Head Teacher at Saint Paul’s, explained: “The work placements enhance the pupils’ self-confidence, maturity and interpersonal skills. I have seen attitudes to school of many young people completely transformed as a result of their highly positive experience on a placement. Pupils broaden their horizons and aspirations and return to school extremely motivated to work hard and do well.”
Mrs Minshall added “An opportunity like this allows the youngsters to make a more informed choice about what career route is best for them. We are very grateful to those employers who are kind enough to offer their time to provide our pupils with such a valuable experience, it really does make a difference.”