Businesses On Board For SMA’s Work Programme

ST MARGARET’S Academy (SMA) has successfully secured work placements with some of the UK’s leading businesses. Year 10 students at SMA will be given the opportunity to work with some of the country’s most influential businesses, as part of the school’s newly launched ‘work inspiration programme’. The Aigburth school has worked tirelessly to forge important relationships with business leaders, both locally and nationally, having invested increased resources into its careers provision this year. Organisations that have offered their support of the programme include Tesco, Boots and Barnardo’s, as well as Liverpool John Moores University, Move Publishing Ltd and Wray Bros locally. The ‘work inspiration programme’ will see the first cohort of 60 students take part in a series of half day sessions from February as part of an 18-week placement scheme. The initiative was launched last year, with pupils attending weekly ‘world of work’ careers talks delivered by a range of industry professionals. The school’s enhanced careers provision aims to lead the way amongst Merseyside schools, offering pupils the opportunity to explore future careers options before embarking upon their Sixth Form studies. Greg McLean, SMA’s dedicated careers and post 16 data manager, says: “In such a highly competitive job market, it is vital that students are given the opportunity to consider their options from an early stage. Starting careers provision in lower school, means that pupils can explore these interests and passions before embarking upon their GCSE’s and post-16 study, helping them to pick the right courses and qualifications for their chosen field. “This ensures that pupils choose the right path to fulfil their career aspirations, whether this be through gaining a university degree, or through embarking upon a vocational course or apprenticeship scheme.” Chris Cooke, assistant director of Sixth Form and UCAS co-ordinator, adds: “At St Margaret’s we want to make sure that all of our pupils have the right skillset to help them progress and succeed. Having the right industry experience will help students develop their employability skills and I am delighted that so many industry professionals have been able to offer their support. I am confident that the ‘work inspiration programme’ will help students focus on where they want to be and give them the determination to get there.”