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Student Careers

Welcome to Careers@Cottesloe the Cottesloe School’s Careers Webpage. If you’ve found your way here it’s either because you’re looking for advice concerning careers or you’ve stumbled upon this page by mistake. The latter is an example of what we call in the guidance sector ‘happenstance’, a simple stroke of luck or coincidence that can have a strong impact on your life choices. Whatever route you’ve taken to this point please stick around long enough to see what we have to offer.

Networking is a vital component of the modern and increasingly competitive world. Never has the adage ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know’ been more pertinent, so the core of our philosophy is to help students to form valuable networks, which we hope will become a lifelong practice. 

At the end of July all Year 10 students have a two week Work Experience. To help with this I have a network of five staff each with specific experience outside of the school environment who help and support the programme. You will also find in these pages details of our ‘Gold Star placements; employers who we highly recommend along with a list of our Partnership Employers, companies who have teamed up with us to offer apprenticeships to our students when they become available. In these pages you will find all the admin and guidance needed to complete a successful Work Experience.

Throughout their time in Sixth Form students are expected to undertake Work Experience. Unlike Year 10 there is no set time of the year for this and no set duration, it can be in a block or preferably a variety of short placements spread over the two years. Sixth formers are also expected to work shadow and to be part of a regular enrichment programme, usually involving an hour or two a week with various local employers such as child care providers, the local primary school and care home. We have also networked with Loughborough University so that students can visit during the Autumn term. Students can also ‘student shadow’ undergraduates for a day at a number of participating organisations.

Online networking consists mainly of receiving regular updates from COA Limited who provide an update on developments within the career sectors from across the internet. We also make an annual pilgrimage to the Skills Show at NEC Birmingham. Another opportunity for Networking is the National Apprenticeship Show which we will be attending in March, and don’t forget our own Careers Fair.

The final source of Networking is through the universities and colleges who annually send us their details of open days. Independent Careers advice is essential for all students, and we are fortunate enough to be able to offer this in house. One of our aims at Careers@Cottesloe is to use careers advice to motivate and sometimes regenerate enthusiasm in students who have become disinterested and disengaged because they have no specific goals to work towards. Improved progress data is often indicative of the importance of this intervention. The major benefit to a school of this system is that there is little disruption to learning compared to students having to go off site for this service. Our service is free, but you will also find on these pages contacts and costings for services that you can access independently.

We have a careers library located in C Block which is home to our famous Careers Tree where you can find the often astonishing and sometimes torturous paths your teachers have taken to get where they are now. This can be used for either inspiration or gossip. A job is temporary, a career is a life long journey of learning. Networking enables all students to become more confident, more empowered and responsible particularly concerning their career choices. If you are still reading this, congratulations, we have successfully networked.

Work Experience

What's with Work Experience?

Work Experience is a vital part of a rounded education. Let’s face it the whole reason we go to school is to become a fully functioning, positive member of society, and that in simple terms means becoming part of the work force; to pay taxes, to spend your disposable income and to do this for as long as possible. The technicalities of this are explained in this document. All things being equal you are more likely to continue to be member of the work force and therefore contribute to social cohesion, if you are happy at work. So finding the right job is really important and work experience can help you do that. To help you find out what works for you all Year 10 students are strongly advised to take up a two week work experience programme during the final part of the summer term.

So Why do Work Experience?

As I stated earlier I think work experience is one of the most valuable projects a student can undertake, so long as the placement is well thought through, and not just a two week holiday. Why? Well it helps you to network and this is key aspect of job hunting, it is not uncommon for a student to be offered an apprenticeship on the back of a successful work experience.  It can also confirm that your choice of career is sound or alternatively, if the placement doesn’t go well, force you to reassess your options.
When applying for work, apprenticeships, college, sixth form or university your chance of acceptance is increased significantly if you have relevant work experience on your CV and personal statement. Most good nursing courses for example will expect a minimum of six weeks experience in public services as entry criteria, most of which would probably be voluntary. So you can get two of those weeks out of the way in Year 10.
The whole process of finding work, applying for work. Filling in forms and perhaps even being interviewed is an essential life skill, as indeed is the resilience you acquire by applying for work, being unsuccessful and having to try again; and again if necessary. Finding work is competitive and this is a good time to find this out for yourself.
And yes, providing work experience is a statutory requirement for all schools: you have to do it, we have to enable it.
So, get into the right frame of mind, start thinking like a job seeker, engage with startprofile, download the work experience application form, check the recommended placements list, make some calls, be prepared to be disappointed, keep trying and find a placement that will really help you in the future.

Labour Market Information

Labour Market Information (LMI) tells you about the workplace, or labour market. LMI describes the condition of the labour market, past and present, as well as future projections. The word future here is important.
Let’s say that you want to be a builder, at the moment the building industry is robust in this area, but what is the forecast for the future, particularly when you will be qualified and looking for a job?
Getting a job and making a career is a strategic process. If you are tied to certain geographic area then getting a job in your chosen field of interest might be problematic if that industry is in decline or even doesn’t have a footprint in that area yet. Now the word yet becomes important.
Because LMI will tell you if this footprint is imminent or unlikely ever to exist. This gives you powerful knowledge to inform your career choices and where you might end up living.


What is an Apprenticeship?

Earn while you learn. An apprenticeship is a paid period of training that allows you to learn a particular skill or set of skills and can last between one and four years. 


What are my options?
Apprenticeships can be undertaken in a huge number of different sectors and industries, from agriculture to Zoo Keeping. Don’t expect to be paid a fortune, rates differ from apprenticeship to apprenticeship, so it’s best to shop around. One thing to remember is that your pay will go up in line with the skills you develop, so providers will invest in you. 

There are three levels of apprenticeships:

  • apprenticeships
  • advanced apprenticeships
  • higher apprenticeships

How much will I get paid?
You’re guaranteed a minimum wage of £2.73 per hour, a typical Dental Nurse Apprenticeship will pay on average at least twice this amount. Whilst you are earning between £4,940 and £13,000 a year your university friends are almost certainly acquiring a similar amount of debt particularly when you consider that university fees cost up to £9,000 per year.