Great Careers Week in one Portsmouth Academy

Last week, I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to assist in the running of Careers Week at a local Academy school for over 160 Year 10 students, for those of you my age that is 4th year in ‘old money’. The week included running the Morrisby psychometric profiling tool, a tool that was familiar to me, as my father in 1982 as a Training Manager made me do the paper and pencil version, which accurately measures your aptitude, organisational preferences and personality and many more – giving both a subjective and objective view of the individual, an algorithm then spits out ideas on careers based on various factors but namely your preferences and aptitude. As an old hat at psychometrics this one pulls no punches – I always think of it as a 12+ on steroids – it’s hard and in the 12 minutes you get for each test, it gets progressively harder… a series of verbal, numeral and abstract reasoning….

On probably one of the hottest days of the year so far (last Monday), the students completed the profiling and feedback indicated that it was extremely worthwhile with many probably realising the importance in years to come, as the tool comes with a login for life, so you can keep revisiting the site and investigating career opportunities. The rest of the week saw workshops in employability skills, CV writing, interview skills and culminated in a structured competency interview with feedback.

It is not often you get a warm fuzzy feeling that both myself and Barbara Mann had delivering last week, not only did we receive some great comments from the students: “Brilliant week, would like to have more interview practice in year 11”, “Most useful thing I’ve done at school”, “it was really useful and learned loads”….. if we have made a difference to some lives and students act on some of the advice that we gave then a job well done. It is just a shame that the rest of the students in the UK may not be getting the right careers advice, practice interviewing or CV writing. This was highlighted in the media extensively at the end of last year, with crisis headlines such as “Schools failing to prepare young people for work”, Poor careers Advice failing to address STEM skills crisis”. All of this culminated in a Careers advice inquiry launched by the new parliamentary committee on education, skills and the economy.

The academy school last week luckily had the budget, foresight and initiative to run the week and the whole experience was hugely successful for all concerned – including the employers who came to present and the 20 interviewers who gave up their time to ‘give something back’.

Providing Careers Advice for 14-24 year olds

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