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Connecting Students and Professionals: The Power of Career Insights Sessions

We’ve run another successful Career Insights Week at Skills Builder. We had approximately 1350 students from 21 schools across the UK taking part to gain practical insights into the world of work. 

Through stimulating conversations with volunteers from 33 different organisations 135 employee volunteers connected with students across the country, bridging the connection  between classroom learning and real-world careers.

Empowering Students with Essential Skills

One of the best things about these sessions is that they aren't just one-way. Students actively used their communication skills to engage with the volunteers, one of whom was even an ex-Olympian, competing for Team GB in the London and Rio Olympic Games.

The students asked thought-provoking questions, like "Do any of you use AI in your jobs?” and “Which essential skills have you got better at since you started your job?”. 

Beyond insights into how the essential skills are used in the world of work, and the information about specific job roles, these sessions also help to inspire students, and to inspire them by what the world of work can offer. When asked if they had any general career advice for the students, one volunteer said: "Always be curious. Asking questions is the key to learning". 

Another shared this valuable lesson she gained from her time in work: “I've learnt that whenever I find something difficult I should always ask for help because there's no such thing as a silly question.” This resonated with the students because when asked about one thing they would take away from the session, one Year 4 student responded: “In science I sometimes find it difficult but I've learnt that I should keep asking my friends to help me.” 

Volunteers Reflect and Hone Skills

Over 130 volunteers from a diverse range of businesses benefited from the opportunity to reflect on their own essential skills. They practised communication by sharing career stories and answering student questions.

“It was great to do something different during my working day and give back in some small way. I am really keen that children are not "fearful" of the world of work but excited and looking forward to it.” Volunteer, Career Insights Session

Lasting Impact

Teachers were impressed by how engaged their students were, soaking up advice from employee volunteers. One teacher highlighted how the sessions helped to make the essential skills much more tangible for the students: “Every question was related to one of the eight skills so the pupils could put them into context.”

Another referenced the lasting impact that these sessions can have, saying: “My students have not stopped talking about it [the session] since. They took a lot of advice and inspiration on board from the employers.”

Thank You and Looking Ahead

We are really grateful to everyone who contributed to the success of the Career Insights Sessions. These sessions provide a vital link between students and professionals, inspiring young people and shaping the future workforce.

We're already looking forward to the next Career Insights Week in the next academic year, as we continue our mission to equip everyone with the essential skills needed for success.