Cambridge is contributing to the UK's economic development and this is driven by the large number of very successful science and technology companies in the region. There are over 1,500 companies in the Cambridge Technology Cluster, employing over 53,000 people and generating over £12billion a year (and that is before you consider science and technology jobs in academia and healthcare!).
Progression is at the centre of all that we do at Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology. We want every one of our students to have the best possible chance of succeeding in their chosen career path. Therefore, we expect each student to achieve their best in their academic studies, in their Challenge Project work and in the many other opportunities that we provide.
To support students in progressing to their chosen careers we provide a bespoke Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG) programme facilitated by staff that are passionate about students achieving their ambitions. Each student receives personalised guidance in developing CV writing skills, interview technique, sixth form and apprenticeship applications. To support students in progressing to their chosen careers we provide a week’s work experience for all of our year 12 students.
Because our students meet so many employers, they learn about a wide range of careers and develop the skills and confidence to conduct themselves in a professional environment. Involving employers at the heart of our education enables students to build professional networks and opens doors and work experience opportunities that are not always available elsewhere.
In year 12 we take students through the process of applying for a job. The students have workshops on how to write a CV and covering letter, after which they produce their own CV. They then sit down with an external expert to receive personalised feedback on their CV. They also have a mock interview and feedback, again from an external expert. Having learnt how to apply for a job, students now apply for, and complete a week’s work experience.
Students also start to think about where they want to go at the end of sixth form, visiting UCAS fairs and starting to prepare university applications, including having a 1:1 career guidance interview. We have bespoke support for those applying to Oxbridge, Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science.
In year 13 CEIAG is focussed on supporting students in applying for the next stage of their education, be that university, apprenticeship, or work. This support tends to be quite personalised, for example in supporting students with their personal statements. The students also learn about student finance and how to apply for this.
Throughout their time in the sixth form students build up a Portfolio of Achievement that brings together their academic, employability, CEIAG and personal skills into a document that they can use to support them achieve their career aspirations in the future. Many students find this a helpful way of evidencing their achievements when they attend interviews.
Sixth form students are supported by a TEAMS group which gives access to lots of help and support in applying for university, apprenticeships and jobs. This is also used to share a wide range of live opportunities with the students, including work experience places, open days, training event, apprenticeships, etc.
The CAST careers lead is Alistair Easterfield, contact CAST-Careers@CambridgeAST.org.uk.