An innovative education charity has been piloting a careers information scheme that operates in a similar manner to speed dating.
Worktree’s Career WorkOut is fun, fast paced and provides first-hand workplace wisdom to help prepare young people for employment and the real world.
During one hour sessions, students meet eight volunteer work guests in a carousel of seven or eight minute conversations.
It’s sponsored by local businesses and currently involves all 11 to 18-year-olds in three Milton Keynes schools – The Hazeley Academy, Oakgrove School and Lord Grey School.
Worktree spokeman and former English teacher Tom Bulman said: “Our ultimate vision is for every MK pupil to attend at least seven WorkOut sessions during their school life, giving them insight into more than 50 different occupations.
“This year we’re hoping to have 500 volunteer guests talking to more than 4,000 students about their authentic experiences.”
He added: “My ambition has always been to get young people together to interview real people about real jobs.
“Typical questions are how did they get the job, why that particular job, what other jobs would they have liked, how good were they at school, what’s a good day at work like and do they dream of doing something completely different?
“The guests invariably enjoy the interaction and 98 percent report they also feel more positive about their own jobs.”
And there are big benefits for the students too.
Hazeley Academy headteacher Tony Nelson said: “Feedback suggests that Career WorkOut sessions have had a dramatic positive impact on student aspirations, personal vision and drive.
“In more than two decades in education I have not come across a more effective programme for achieving these goals across such a wide range of students for so minimal investment in terms of time and money.”
Hazeley Academy student Matt Snell, 16, said: “It really gave me an insight into the working world and more confidence to follow the career of my choice.”
Fellow student Sam Rene,16, agreed: “It was interesting to learn what employers look for in future employees.”
> For more information visit http://worktree.org/