The Importance of External Trips
Last month students and staff affiliated with Go Higher West Yorkshire were lucky enough to be involved in two industry-focused external trips. The two sessions were excellent opportunities to get students out of schools and into first-hand experiences, learning hands-on skills and getting the opportunity to ask questions to professionals working in the industry. Below we will cover the two sessions that the students of Castleford Academy and Immanuel College attended and also highlight the benefits of these types of trips!
Engie Site Visit – Castleford Academy
On Monday 14th February 2022 fourteen students had the opportunity to visit Engie‘s Waterton Green Development site. The large housing development being undertaken in Walton, Wakefield allows for the perfect opportunity for students to get that first-hand experience inside a professional build. Being part of the mentoring project that has been set up between Engie and Castleford Academy, not only do students get the experience of walking around the site but they are also able to ask questions and get an insight into the details you might not usually think of, such as looking at the architects plans and discussing with the sales agents about how you sell a house that hasn’t been built. The amount of different roles that go into building not one house but an entire estate is far more varied than most students believe and with the Engie site visit the students were able to realise this. Questions on the day varied from what routes the staff took to get to their roles and even asking the big questions of how much they earn! All of the information gathered by the students will be extremely beneficial in making decisions about their next steps in education and employment.
Parker Filtration – Immanuel College
With a pizza van on hand to dish out free food to students, it’s easy to see why the Parker Filtration visit was a popular one. 5 students from the Immanuel College were able to not only enjoy delicious pizza but also wet their appetite for learning (please forgive me for the pun). A day worth of sessions hosted at Parker Filtrations factory just outside of Dewsbury gave an insight into some of the behind the scenes processes that go into different types of engineering. From the planning and design process to walking the factory floor, students were allowed an all-access pass into the workings of the industry. Much like the Engie visit, the opportunity for students to see these processes first hand and ask questions was hugely beneficial, but they also had the chance to explore the collaborations between different members of staff with different skills, how they compromise and how they solve problems together. Insights into this kind of environment are hard to replicate in the classroom, really highlighting the benefits of external trips to these students.
Trips like the two examples above not only allow for great experiences, but the insight into the different routes into work is key. Apprenticeships are a common route for a lot of students in this sector as not only will they get paid but will also learn on the go. Getting an insight into the types of challenges and experiences that the students would face can be a real confidence boost, making the reality of their situation not as daunting as some students may think. Apprenticeships in this industry also allow for a student to be taught in the way of that particular company and to a high standard. Theses skills become not only transferable but also increase the likelihood of further employment once the course is over with the employer keen to keep someone on who has proven themselves and knows the role inside and out.
HE routes are also encouraged, with the variety of roles that are available across different sectors, different ways of learning and approaching the roles are increasingly relevant. A large amount of the roles can become specialist and will require the extra training and knowledge that Higher Education providers can deliver. Businesses and employers are becoming increasingly aware of this, meaning there is often demand for both routes.
It’s important to ask questions on these trips about all of the above. Below we’ve included some that you might find to be useful next time yourself or some students are on a similar trip.
- What route did you take to your role?
- What sort of jobs are there for Apprentices?
- What is a typical starting salary?
- How much do you earn in your role? (Don’t be afraid to ask!)
- What’s it like working on a site/office/location?
- What is the support like?
- Can you get a degree whilst working?
- Do you think learning on the go or Higher Education is better for this role?
- What was your best day on the job?
- What was your worst day on the job?
If you have any questions about how to get involved in these types of trips or how to run one yourself reach out to a member of the Outreach Officer team for more information.