The annual Bucks Skills Show is the county’s largest interactive and experiential skills festival, and this year the event took place virtually between November 9th-13th, with a focus on careers in the curriculum.
“We were delighted with the success of this year’s Skills Show, which attracted 5,000 virtual visitors. Our employer-led curriculum sessions aimed to embed careers within the curriculum and help students to understand the relevance of their subjects to future careers. Sessions for young people and their parents/carers explored the different options available to them. Careers support and guidance plays a critical role more now than ever before and we were delighted to have the support from our amazing employers.”
The Bucks Skills Show Online 2020 aimed to help motivate students after lockdown, show students why subjects are relevant to real life and why they matter, and inspire students to be positive about their futures.
The event was split into two parts. The first part - ‘Bringing Lessons to Life’ - included inspirational speakers from businesses such as McAfee, Esri, Capgemini and BAM Construct who demonstrated how the curriculum is used in their everyday jobs.
Teachers and students picked from a timetable of more than two dozen 30-minute live online employer-led 'careers in the curriculum' lessons for Year 9 students. A wide range of subjects were covered from Maths and English to Physics and Music.
The speakers spoke about their career journeys, giving young people a wealth of advice and helpful messages about routes into their industries and the skills required, such as resilience, problem solving, persistence and enthusiasm. They encouraged students to follow their interests and passions.
Duncan Howell, Senior Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, said:
“Careers information delivered by professionals passionate about their subject offers not only an understanding of a career, but a more personal and real example of a journey into the workplace. Bucks Skills Show has excelled in bringing an eclectic range of professionals together to support learning and inform of a future that subjects can lead to.”
The second part of the event included two live webinars for 16-18 year olds on labour market information and next steps. The first - ‘Where next: employment, education or apprenticeship?’ - included presentations from The University of Buckingham, Bucks New University, Buckinghamshire College Group, apprenticeship experts and Buckinghamshire Business First, on how to guide students on what employers are looking for.
The second event - ‘Understanding the job market: what’s on your doorstep?’ - included an update on the local economy post-COVID-19 and featured representatives from Buckinghamshire’s growth sectors – creative, space, health and care, digital, high performance engineering and construction. The aim of the session was to inform about future career paths and inspire students about the great opportunities available to them.
This year’s Bucks Skills Show was even mentioned in Parliament!
“Will my right Hon. Friend welcome this initiative (Bucks Skills Show) and the work of Buckinghamshire Business First, as well as the Bucks Careers Hub, which was named the top performer in the country? Does he agree that their support for young people facing increasing challenges to kickstart their career post-virus shows what can be achieved by a successful partnership between business, the Bucks local enterprise partnership, the council and the Careers and Enterprise Company.” - Dame Cheryl Gillan MP (Chesham and Amersham).
To view videos of this year’s presentations and workshops, please click here