Willesden Liberal Democrat Councillor Ann Hunter has helped young people in Brent to consider their future careers and practice their interviewing skills.
She joined students at Capital City Academy last Tuesday (22 November) for a careers speed networking event, and on Thursday (24 November) took part in mock interviews with students at Crest Girls Academy.
Both events were organised by Brent and Harrow Education Business Service (HEBS). Around 190 young people met professionals from a wide variety of careers to discuss their working lives.
During the Careers Speed Networking adults from different career backgrounds, including a barrister, a doctor, PCSOs, journalists, a physicist and an IT specialist, worked with students in small groups, giving them a brief synopsis of their job and its day-to-day activities, and then answering questions from them. Every ten minutes the pupils moved on to the next person.
It’s a format that the pupils enjoy, and get a lot out of as they to find out about the range of careers available, practice their questioning skills and find out more about the world of work.
The mock interviews are an invaluable opportunity to practice, and get feedback, on being interviewed. This is a skill which can mean the difference between getting a job or not, or whether or not you get into the university of your choice.
Speaking about the events, Cllr Ann Hunter said:
These are both really useful opportunities for the youngsters. It helps give them confidence before entering the jobs market for real, and coaches them how best to present the skills they have.
I was really impressed by the students’ attention and the quality of their questions at the Capital City Academy. The interviewees at Crest were remarkable in how well they presented themselves and their clear desire to achieve and fulfil their potential.
I think the young people there found it reassuring that many of us who were talking to them had changed careers several times, so realised that they weren’t tied to just one career once they’d decided on it. Some youngsters had already decided what they wanted to be, whether surgeons, plumbers or teachers, but many hadn’t. I think they now realise that flexibility in the job market is life-long and nowadays retraining and change is part of life.
The Brent and Harrow Education Business Service (BHEBS) has been providing work-related activities for 14 to 19-year olds in West London for almost ten years. BHEBS works with schools and local employers to raise the profile, value and quality of business education.