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Local businesses help Stokesley students get up to speed on their careers

07 February 2020  |  Darren Smith

Year 9 students, at Stokesley School, enjoyed a morning of inspiring careers’ networking activities, thanks to the support of local businesses who encouraged them to think about their future career paths.

The speed-networking project is the brainchild of Janine Harrison-Henry, Head of Careers, who invited 13 businesses to lead the event and share their wealth of experience, expertise and knowledge.  The representatives talked about the different roles within their sectors and advised on the training routes available. Groups of six students each spent ten minutes with six of the businesses to gain an understanding of the organisations and find out the qualities they are looking for when recruiting young people.

Whilst the students benefit enormously from events such as these, the businesses themselves value the opportunity to engage with the students.  Businesses are always looking ahead to the next generation of employees and it was widely acknowledged that, being in a rural area, recruiting and retaining young people can be challenging.

Emma Harbottle, Managing Director of Analox, who specialise in the design and manufacture of gas sensing products and employ 80 staff at their Stokesley HQ, said: “We have been working closely with Stokesley School for two years and enjoy engaging with the students to make them aware of the wide range of roles available in our business, from marketing and operations through to, engineering, finance and quality control.  However, we equally appreciate the benefits of such networking as it’s important we secure our workforce for the future.”

Janine Harrision-Henry added: “We work closely with a number of businesses in the area, developing partnerships that really benefit the students. All of the professionals participating today are members of the Stokesley School Business Links Network, which we re-launched in December 2018. We are always happy to welcome new local businesses and professionals to join the network and support our school with Careers-related activities of all sorts. All the students were given much food for thought and valued this event enormously, learning a great deal about possible future career opportunities. We would like to thank all the professionals who gave up their valuable time to come and provide an insight into their working lives.”

The businesses who took time out of their busy schedules to attend included; Analox, Labman, Lithgow and Sons,  PC Richardson Engineering, Yellow Box Digital Marketing, Newcastle Building Society, Catch Designs, Chapters Deli, Dawn McNamara Photography, Bulk Tainer Logistics plus Stokesley Rotary Club members representing the medical, chemical and engineering industries. They spanned a range of industries from digital marketing and auctioneering through to engineering and logistics.

Evie Findlay, Year 9 student said: “The careers event was very interesting and informative. It helped show me that there are lots of different jobs and opportunities for me.  People we spoke to who had brought things in to show us were the most interesting.”

Stokesley School believe that quality employer engagement is paramount to shaping a young person’s perspective about careers and these links give students the chance to develop an interest in the world of business, industry and education that lies outside the school gates.  There is a very close relationship with Mark Lewis, Chief Executive at Analox, who is the school’s Enterprise Adviser and plays a key role in helping to shape the Careers offer. There is also an immense amount of support from members of the Stokesley Rotary Club who help at events such as these, as well as assisting at interview skills workshops and volunteering to accompany students on careers trips.

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