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Employment Engagement Activity Offer

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Core offer for Schools and Colleges

The Cheshire and Warrington Pledge ensures employers are at the heart of inspiring and preparing the future workforce through meaningful engagement with young people. As part of our core offer, which is fully funded for 2022/23, for all state funded secondary and special schools and colleges in our area, we offer a range of employment engagement activity as outlined below.



Career/ Progression Route Video of the Week (including priority sector employers)

Year: Available to all
Size: Form time / registration/ homework
Duration: 15 minutes
Delivery: Video on website uploaded once a week
Impact: Supports Gatsby 2 LMI, inspirational local employers for young people and the chance to create discussion between form tutors and young people.
Date: Weekly / fortnightly throughout the year
Summary: To include employers talking about their careers, and to also include post-16 progression routes from Sixth Forms, Further Education (FE), Higher Education) and Independent Training Provider (ITP) to highlight career pathways. Tutors can show these during form time and discuss them with their tutees or set them as homework’s for young people to watch and then discuss in a future session

Multi-School Local Pledge Structured Careers and post-16 Fair

(Including work experience, internships, placements and volunteering and digital skills)

Year: Recommended Year 10 (to support work experience, volunteering, extracurricular) and Year 9 (to support options choices)
Size: Whole year group
Duration: 45 minutes – 1 hour per school, ideally 9:30 to 5:30 and open to the public after school
Delivery: Face-to-face
Impact: Supports Gatsby 2, 5 and 7 plus a chance for young people to source work experience, volunteering or enrichment opportunities
Date: September / October
Summary: Working in collaboration with multiple schools to deliver a
‘town wide’ careers fair to help free
up Careers Leaders and employers’ time. Implementing best practice models including speed networking and booklets to support engagement and outcomes. We will encourage employers to promote work experience and job/ apprenticeship openings. Within the event we will invite local Sixth Forms
to help with Gatsby Benchmark 7 and charity organisations to support those seeking volunteering and enrichment opportunities as part of their Duke of Edinburgh awards

Pledge Explore Programme

Year: Year 10/11
Size: Targeted cohort x 15 (e.g FSM,SEND, at risk of NEET)
Duration: 6 sessions throughout the year
Impact: Supports Gatsby 2, 3, 5 and 7. Inspiration for targeted students and opportunities to develop and practice employability skills
Date: Launch from September throughout the year
Summary: The Pledge Explore programme is targeted at a group of students that the school identifies as most in need and who do not have the same opportunities to know about different careers as their peers. The small cohort (around 15) allows a minibus to be utilised to physically go on on-site trips to companies and educational establishments in the locality. This minimises cost and time out of the curriculum. A series of 6 sessions will be designed with the school, typically including a trip to the local college, a university, different businesses, and the voluntary sector organisations. Alongside the programme will be a booklet to complete and an element of parental engagement in the form of a celebration event at the end of the programme

Example Pledge Explore Timetable:

Event 1 – at local FE provider – bringing schools together
Event 2 – Careers Fair – attending the town-wide event
Event 3 – each school – visit to an employer
Event 4 – a charitable sector organisation to explore enrichment/volunteering
Event 5 – apprenticeships and Jobs Fair – attending an existing event
Event 6 – each school – visit to an employer
Event 7 – graduation – with parents

Employment Readiness Programme

Year: Year 13
Size: All students who are undecided about university/don’t want to go to university or are actively-seeking employment/apprenticeships
Duration: 5 sessions (the fifth one being the Mock Assessment Centre)
Impact: Supports Gatsby 3 and 5. Students in year 13 looking for an apprenticeship are ultimately successful
Date: Launch from September to January / February
Summary: This programme is for Year 13 students and provides alternative pathways for those who do not want to go to university. It is a programme of 5 sessions delivered per school to the designated cohort (can be delivered as individual sessions to help boost existing programmes):

  • Session 1: ASK apprentices, what are apprenticeships and meet the apprentice’s Q&A
  • Session 2: CV masterclass with employer input
  • Session 3: CV one-to-ones with employers – virtual delivery recommended
  • Session 4: How to prepare for an interview/virtual interview and assessment centre
  • Session 5: Mock assessment for multiple schools/colleges

Mock Assessment Centre

Year: Year 13
Size: All students who are undecided about university/don’t want to go to university or are actively seeking employment/apprenticeships
Duration: Half-day
Impact: Supports Gatsby 3 and 5. Students in Year 13 looking for an apprenticeship are ultimately successful
Date: January / February
Summary: The Mock Assessment Centre can be run as a stand-alone event and is the opportunity for up to 50 students to have the experience of an assessment centre environment to help them feel more prepared and confident for the ‘real thing’. This will also be a chance for employers to talent spot as we employ a panel of employers who are actively recruiting to run the sessions. Throughout the day the employers will capture feedback for each student, and they will be given immediate feedback after every task, and written feedback afterwards. There are four main elements of the day that make up the half-day event: Group Task, Mock Interview, Tour and Meet the Apprentices

Apprenticeship and Jobs Fair

One per Local Authority (LA), in partnership with LAs and Local Colleges (including work experience, internships, and volunteering)
Year: Year 11-13
Size: All students who don’t want to go/ are undecided about university or are actively seeking employment/ apprenticeship or who are going to university and are looking for part-time work
Duration: All day
Impact: Supports Gatsby 3 – helping young people to find an apprenticeship, volunteering or part-time job
Date: February
Summary: Working with each LA and college provider to support a ‘town-wide’ apprenticeship and jobs fair. Ensuring that all employers have active job/apprentice vacancies or can offer work experience and placement opportunities. This would be an in-person event hosted in a central location within the LA geographically and organised in conjunction with the LA and local colleges

Spring into Careers – Virtual Live

Year: Year 7-9
Size: Whole year groups
Duration: 1.5 hours in the evening
Impact: Supports Gatsby 2, 3, 5, and 7. To inspire and inform Key Stage 3 students
Date: Summer term
Summary: A collection of videos throughout the year showcasing ‘A Day in the Life’ vlogs to inform and inspire about different occupations and opportunities available locally, including local Labour Market Information. This would be an online event hosted in the evening, set as homework where possible to ensure engagement. An online chat to include two-way engagement. Pre- and post-work in school to maximise impact

End of Year Apprenticeship Vacancy Virtual Event

Year: Year 11-13 leavers
Size: Students looking for, but who have not yet secured an apprenticeship
Duration: 1-hour sessions per sector (throughout the day)
Impact: Young people to secure an apprenticeship opportunity
Date: Wednesday 13th July TBC
Summary: Targeting Year 13 students who are waiting to secure an apprenticeship. Working with schools to send out information to students and parents to ensure attendance at the event and reaching out to employers through local colleges who are struggling to recruit to apprenticeship vacancies. The event would take place on Zoom and would group each sector eg. Finance and Admin, Health and Social Care etc. Employers would introduce themselves and their company and talk through their opportunities. Students then have the chance to ask any questions. We would connect students to employers and vice versa after the event

Employability Half-Day

Year: Year 10
Size: Whole year
Duration: Half-Day
Delivery: Face-to-face
Impact: Supports Gatsby 2, 5 and 7. Helping young people develop confidence
Date: Anytime
Summary: Born out of feedback from schools that young people need to build their confidence due to COVID – 19. Young people will learn the key skills and digital skills that employers look for when recruiting young people. They will undertake assessment centre-style tasks and develop employability skills. They will also meet and hear from several adults who will share their career journeys (including apprentices and graduates). The Pledge will facilitate the half-day and will include employers and education partners (HE/FE/ITP) working directly with students

Virtual Work Experience

Year: Year 10-12
Size: Groups of 15-20 per employer – whole year allocation
Duration: 1 – 5 days
Impact: Supports Gatsby 6
Date: Anytime
Summary: Groups of students working remotely on a work-related task set by an employer. Typically, the employer will meet with a group of students at the start of the programme and set a task. They will work on this as a group and present it back at the end of the programme, receiving feedback from the employer. Students will have a catch-up with the employer mid-programme to ask questions and get feedback on initial ideas. This can be hybrid, whereby the students meet the employer either at their premises or in school at the launch, middle and/ or end of the programme. A great way for more young people to work with an employer than traditional work experience allows, and to work with employers unable to offer work experience face-to-face

Sector-Specific Work Experience

Year: Year 10-12
Size: Groups of 15-20 per employer – whole year allocation
Duration: 1 – 5 days
Impact: Gatsby 6
Date: Anytime
Summary: A group of around 15 students spend up to a week exploring a specific sector, e.g., digital or STEM. Ideally, students apply and are interviewed for the programme. Students spend the week visiting employers to find out what careers exist in the sector and develop employability
skills by undertaking tasks set be employers. They will meet graduates and apprentices and visit higher education, further education, and training providers to understand the progression routes into the sector