A new Careers and Enterprise Hub has opened for business at Hadley Learning Community (HLC) – helping the school to become the first in Telford & Wrekin to receive a top award.
The hub, which is supported by a host of local businesses and community organisations, is a one-stop-shop for careers advice and mentoring.
It is also a key ingredient in helping the school to achieve Gold accreditation for meeting all eight of the internationally recognised Gatsby Benchmarks, for best careers provision in secondary schools.
Mayor of Telford & Wrekin, Councillor Stephen Reynolds, presented the HLC team with their certificate, as well as cutting the ribbon to declare the careers hub officially open.
“This is a fantastic achievement, and demonstrates the great practice being carried-out at HLC,” the council’s Life Ready, Work Ready team said.
The careers hub is supported by a wide range of local companies and organisations, many of which were represented at the official launch.
They included Aico, Avara Foods, RBSL, Saint Gobain, Mrs Russell’s Sweets & Treats, J&PR, Young Enterprise, Aspire to HE, Epson, Wolverhampton University, Telford College, ReAssure, Dyke Yaxley, and Telford & Wrekin Council.
Catherine Lawson-Broadhead, careers lead and head of business at HLC, said: “Every school is being required to use Gatsby benchmarks to improve their careers provision.
“We are proud to be the first in the borough to have met all eight of these standards, in recognition of the work being done with our students from years 7-11.
“One of the key Gatsby benchmarks includes encounters with employers, and we aim for each of our year groups to meet with at least two employers a year.
“Experience in the workplace is another of the key objectives, and we aim to give all year 10 students a work placement. We have already worked with nearly 100 local companies, and have dozens more asking for our students.”
The school also has a partnership with Telford College, helping to break down barriers to higher education, and is part of the Aspire to HE programme run by the University of Wolverhampton.
Catherine added: “We also have a Future Focus careers adviser who meets with all year 11 students to support them making accurate choices, and we start work with year 10s in the summer too.”
The Careers and Enterprise Hub is not just for HLC students – it is open to all schools which are part of the Learning Community Trust, including other secondary schools, Ercall Wood and Charlton.
Telford Job Box is also using the hub, offering advice to the local community, and targeting careers advice to adults.