hard work,
     faith and
      learning and

Careers Statement

St Joseph’s has an academy wide strategy in place for careers education, information, advice and guidance that is designed to inspire all students to consider their future aims and ambitions. The CEIAG programme consists of a mix of teacher-led activities, online resources and engagement with external employers / professionals.  Mr S. Condon is the governor tasked with ‘employability for life’ and directly supports challenges and oversees the quality of the CEIAG programme. A very experienced Head of Careers Education (15+ years), Mrs C. Jones, is supported by an independent, level 7 qualified, careers adviser – ensuring that our students benefit from staff who have the appropriate skills, knowledge and confidence to deliver CEIAG. The Director of Applied Learning, Mr R. Gibson, is the SLT link for Careers and ensures that strategic partnerships exist with local and national employers so that students can progress into further education, apprenticeships, employment or university. Post 16, the Pastoral Leader for Progression liaises closely with the Head of Careers to ensure all students have access to a range of CEIAG opportunities.

The Academy has a significant number of employer partnerships. We are active members of the South Tyneside Business Forum, The Advanced Manufacturing Forum and Business in the Community, all of which give our students access to over 400 businesses and over 22,000 employee volunteers. Our strategic partnership with Lloyds Banking group and close working partnerships with the LA (through the curriculum group, IAG group and economic development) ensure that we are able to design a curriculum and prepare our students for vacancies that exist both now and in the future. Apprenticeship vacancies are advertised within the academy and a number of employers have recruited directly from our student body. Partnerships with Zenith People and Skillforce ensure that our students are aware of the opportunities that exist and that they have the skills required to fulfil them.   

Through our CEIAG programme and the promotion of a number of related e-learning packages (U-Explore, Kudos, Launchpad, National Careers Service) all students in Years 8 to 13 can access up-to-date, industry-related information on a wide range of careers. This ensures an academy wide provision that meets and exceeds statutory requirements for Careers guidance. The independent and impartial national careers platform (U-Explore) provides a holistic work-related learning experience for students, inspiring them about their futures and placing them in control of their own learning and progression. U-Explore, in particular, contains over 2,000 written and video job profiles across 14 industry sectors, real work environments and 360-degree Virtual Tours. The ability to ‘like’ specific jobs, businesses, educational establishments and qualifications, all feeds into an individual profile, allowing students to personalise their experience and enabling them to track their progression towards future goals in a fun and engaging way. Students are also supported in how to apply for further education, higher education, apprenticeships or work experience placements. Guidance on how to apply for jobs is also provided, whether it be writing a CV, covering letter, application form or preparing for an interview.  

Students receive additional CEIAG support at key transition points. All Post 16 pathways, including traineeships, apprenticeships and further education are promoted equally, along with all providers (including local colleges and training providers). For example, in addition to a 1:1 careers interview with an independent and impartial careers adviser, Services for Young People deliver an independent and impartial presentation to all Year 11 students, focusing on RPA, the variety of post 16 progression pathways that are available and they promote open evenings and sources of further information. In addition, the Year 11 Careers morning dedicates equal time to all students meeting over 17 different employers, participating in a workshop on apprenticeships and traineeships delivered by the South Tyneside Training Provider Network (over 12 training providers) and participating in a presentation about Sixth Form. Further apprenticeship talks and CV drop in sessions ensure that all students take responsibility for their career plans and are supported to achieve their personal aims and ambitions. The success of the academies CEIAG programme is reflected in the fact that our NEET figure has decreased over time and is consistently below 1% despite increasing levels of deprivation (South Tyneside is the 52nd most deprived of 326 Local Authorities, 27% of students are eligible for pupil premium, 24% of students are eligible for free school meals).

Well established links with South Tyneside Local Authority ensure vulnerable students receive support during and after KS4. All SEND and disadvantaged students are prioritised in 1:1 interviews alongside those students identified as potential NEETs. The LA, working with the school are able to track this and intervene where necessary (for example through parental engagement, home visits, accompanying to training/college open evenings). The impartial and independent LA Careers adviser attends all Education, Health Care Plan Meetings so that student progression is maximised.

All Year 11 students receive a 1:1 careers guidance interview from a level 7 qualified independent and impartial careers adviser, bought in from the LA. This service is available to all students who need it and students of any age can request a careers interview. Similarly, this service is promoted to parents, who may also request to attend an interview with their son/daughter. Students complete a pre-interview form and post interview each student is given a personal careers action plan. Students can request further interviews / email contact and can update their plan. From the point of issuing the plan, the student then takes ownership of this. The CEIAG programme is designed to give students the ‘tools’ to develop their personal career ambitions independently, working on the principle of ‘making informed decisions’.

Careers guidance interviews are monitored through regular meetings, student feedback and the quality of the personal career action plans.  CEIAG, including destination data, is evaluated and reported to the SLT link, Director of Sixth Form and link governor. Areas for development are highlighted in action planning.

In addition to key stages 3 and 4, post-16 students continue to take part in a range of CEIAG activities.  Work experience in Year 12 ensures direct engagement with the world of work, whilst the leadership programme, delivered by Skillforce, focuses on the development of key employability skills. Any post 16 student can request a 1:1 careers interview with an independent adviser, whilst students following the Be-Competitive programme participate in the ‘St Joseph’s Rising Stars: enterprising attitudes and behaviours programme’ delivered by Zenith People. The innovative Be Competitive Programme, a particular curriculum route for those students who wish to secure apprenticeships or employment post 18, also involves students achieving additional vocational qualifications, delivered in partnership with external providers and participating in extended work experience. Students are supported to complete UCAS applications, attend the Higher Education Convention and take part in a number of university led activities. A strategic partnership with Sunderland University exists to further enhance curriculum links, applied learning and student progression.