Wow. Hello again, dear followers. I must apologise, it has been a long time since we last blogged - perhaps you thought I had dropped of the face of the earth? Perhaps not. No, my disappearance was not because I had fallen into an abyss, but rather that we have seen a very productive, very busy, and somewhat manic November - and unfortunately, a few tasks fell by the wayside - you know how it can be, sometimes.
Nevertheless, I wanted to kick of December by sharing something a little more in-depth than our usual blog posts, because honestly, we have had a month to remember here at Class Careers - and I want to let you all know about it!
A bit of background...
About eight months ago, we started work with Your Life - and just last month, all of our weeks of planning and scheming came to fruition. For all of those who haven’t heard of Your Life, they are a fantastic organisation with a mission to ensure that the UK has the Maths and Physics skills it needs to succeed in today’s competitive global economy.
According to the ‘Tough Choices’ report, developed by A. T. Kearney, Your Life and the CBI, masses of young people are put off studying Maths and Science during their years at secondary school. The lack of knowledge amongst teachers and parents about the job prospects of Maths and Science unintentionally result in young people not understanding the skills they require for success at work.
45% of young people claim to choose A levels based on future career aspirations…
… but only 43% have had any formal careers guidance about them.
Your Life operates a year round campaign of activity engaging pupils and schools with STEM employers and careers. Their ultimate goal is to increase the numbers of young people studying Maths & Physics at A-Level by 50% by the end of 2017.
So where did we come in?
As part of Inspiration Week Live, we partnered up with Your Life to increase their campaign reach using the power of online tools. Inspiration Week Live involved two full days of online workshops delivered by Class Careers. Entitled ‘Not Just for Scientists: How Science subjects can fast-track your future’ and aimed at Years 9, 10 and 11 to encouraged them to think carefully about their subject choices at both GCSE and A-Level (the former, as GCSE choices are an imperative step towards A-Level choices)!
Your Life recruited a number of volunteers who were already in industry and were actively using Maths or a Science subject in their day-to-day job. The aim of the workshops was to showcase the vast array of opportunities available using Maths and Science, to enlighten them and to inform them that studying Science really doesn’t mean you’d be wearing a lab coat every day…!
The variety of volunteers were fantastic. Over two days, we saw 64 passionate and inspiring individuals from 30 different companies take part… from start-ups to large corporates to government departments… and everything in between!
As you can imagine, the students - all in Years 9, 10 or 11 (that’s age 13 - 16), asked all kinds of questions to our doting volunteers.
“What does your company do? What do you do on a day-to-day basis?”
“How important is Maths and Science for your career?”
“Did you always want to be a ___?”
“How much do you get paid?”
“How important are GCSE grades when it comes to getting a job / getting into university?”
The key stats
Now I know you’re all dying to know the impact we had on young people across the country, so here are the stats:
- 849 students reached in 21 schools from Plymouth to Lancaster!
- On average, individual students chatted on a one-to-one basis with one of our volunteers for a whooping 17 minutes … But some just couldn’t get enough! The longest chat was 45 minutes long!
- Overall, our total chat time was 14,297 minutes… that a massive 238 hours! Or if you put that into working days… 30 days of support!
Students were surveyed before and after the workshop, allowing both us and Your Life to measure its impact. We found:
- 10% of students were now considering taking Maths at A-Level
- 9% of students were now considering taking Physics at A-Level
- 16% of students felt that they were more informed about which A-Level subjects to choose
What did students think?
‘I really enjoyed it, because I was able to relate to who I was speaking to - we took the same GCSEs and he encouraged me to stick with my subjects.’
‘It was very interesting. I now know that I want to study STEM subjects!’
‘Amazing… I got to know more about careers to do with Maths and Science, and how important they are for life.’
And the teachers?
‘This is a brilliant initiative and one that our students embraced as they felt they could ask anything about salaries, educational background, quality of life etc, without feeling the inhibitions of an audience. The volunteers were frank and enthusiastic and we’d be really keen to repeat this experience!’
More information about the Your Life Campaign can be found on their website: www.yourlife.org.uk
You can download the full report on our website: http://www.classcareers.co.uk/schools/resources/your-life