1,600 Virtual Work Experience Places Up For Grabs in Cumbria!

Cumbrian school pupils are being offered the chance to sample the world of work remotely with a wide range of employers thanks to an innovative new virtual work experience programme.

The Cumbria Summer Term Insight Festival launches shortly and 13 organisations – some locally-based, some with a national profile – have volunteered to take part and offer 1,600 places to young people, aged 14 to 19, to help them shape their career choices.

Young people are able to book onto a number of one-day virtual work experience slots throughout June with some employers offering up to 250 places per session as schools and colleges look to overcome the impact of COVID-19 restrictions.

The scheme is being organised by Speakers for Schools, founded in 2010 by ITV’s Political Editor Robert Peston. One of its aims is to end educational inequality by giving all young people access to the same prestigious networks and opportunities available to the top fee-paying schools in the UK.

Those taking part in the Cumbria Summer Term Insight Festival are:

  • University of Cumbria;
  • NHS;
  • Health Education England;
  • Morgan Sindall;
  • National College for Nuclear;
  • Kaefer;
  • Nuclear Decommissioning Authority;
  • Nuclear Transport Solutions;
  • Inspira;
  • The Entrepreneurs Group (with Young Enterprise NI);
  • Expleo Technology UK;
  • Blackfell Photography;
  • The Beggar’s Theatre.

The programme has the endorsement of the Cumbria Careers Hub, a partnership of schools, colleges, employers and careers education professionals.

Launched in January 2019, the programme now supports over 40 secondary schools across Cumbria to deliver exceptional careers education.

Working alongside the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) and the Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC), the Hub brings together employers with schools and Colleges to support high-quality careers education and enable young people to engage with employers and experience the world of work.

Cath Dutton, Cumbria Careers Hub Manager, said: “This is an incredible opportunity for so many of our young people to experience what it is like to be involved in a range of careers in Cumbria and beyond.

“COVID-19 has brought many challenges, but it has also encouraged us to look creatively at how young people can meet with employers across the County and nationally to understand what it would be like to work in many sectors through virtual insight days.

“Places are limited, so I would encourage any young person to take a look and apply for as many of the days they are interested in.

“Whether it is in photography, theatre, nuclear transport, cybersecurity, clean energy, NextGen Nurses or becoming a Doctor, each of these interactive virtual insight days will help inform future career decisions and develop key employability skills.”

Jason Elsom, Chief Executive Officer, Speakers for Schools, said: “All we ask is that schools in Cumbria get involved to give youngsters a helping hand on the careers ladder.

“Our team are delighted to support schools every step of the way to create and deliver quality experiences that will inspire and inform career ambitions for the young people of Cumbria.”

Schools and colleges that feel the scheme might benefit their pupils can register their interest at: s4snextgen.org/Sign-Up/Schools
Year 10, Year 12 pupils and Year 11 leavers are asked to register their interest directly at: s4snextgen.org/students/Take-Part