Year 9 students have recently attended the annual Careers Speed Dating event at Oathall where they had the opportunity to speak to business and trade professionals from across the county and beyond.  It is organised to inspire our future workforce about real jobs; practise those all-important communication skills, and hopefully dispel some myths and challenge gender stereotypes.  This event complements the year 9 options process and students’ feedback is always very positive.

In fast paced, 5-minute slots, students asked a barrage of questions of the 30 different speakers representing a wide range of employment sectors including banking, engineering, medicine, scientific research, catering & hospitality, hairdressing, publishing, veterinary, Police, Armed Forces, childcare, nursing, law, retail, sport, performing arts and many more!

Feedback from the employers has been extremely positive.  Year 9 students did themselves proud.

Reflecting on his first experience of Oathall’s Careers Speed Dating, Mr Rod Hayler, Partner at Old Bailey Solicitors commented: ‘It was a pleasure speaking with your year 9 pupils, all of whom were impressively polite, engaged and insightful with their questioning.  I particularly enjoyed a guess from one young man who said “from the look of your suit … you must be a school headteacher”.  I can only assume that Mr Rodriquez must be a finely dressed man!’

Another first-timer was Steve Edwards, chef and winner of Masterchef Professional 2013, who said: ‘It was a pleasure to attend your event and have the opportunity to talk to and inspire the next generation.  It is a daunting task to think about what you want to do as a career and I hope I was able to give the students help and reassurance on the start of their career paths’.

Regular business representative Rachael Waters, Community Nurse, commented: ‘The students are all so receptive and keen to learn about the different roles.  From my perspective it is great to invest what is just a couple of hours to potentially inspire students to join my profession.  I met a delightful girl today who wanted to be a nurse and I know from her enthusiastic response she will one day make a terrific nurse.’

Thank you to all the business volunteers for giving up their time so generously to support our students.  It was especially pleasing that some of the participants were former Oathall students and members of the school’s Alumni Association.