Apprenticeships have developed in the last few years to become a great route into employment, often giving young people the chance to gain higher education qualifications while earning. The Trust hosts a higher apprenticeship evening once a year where students and parents can get an overview of the sort of apprenticeships that are available, and how to find them and successfully apply.
At Longfield we also run a smaller and more focused event, specifically for year 13 students who have not applied for university through UCAS, called Routes Into Training. We invite employers from the local area to come in and speak to students directly about apprenticeship opportunities they have.
All students are invited to begin the UCAS process at the end of year 12. The university of Kent usually hold a Higher Education Information Evening around the May half term for parents and students to give an overview of the whole process. As soon as students return in year 13 they can attend the UCAS workshops which are held every Thursday after school with 2 experienced teachers.
We have a great track record at Longfield Academy with helping students get the place on the course they want. In both summer 2015 and 2016 every student who applied to University got their place.
There are two work experience windows, one in the week before the February half term and one in the week before the summer break. Students can choose to go on work experience in one or both of these weeks.
Work experience is an extremely valuable process; helping students gain insight into which career they might like to pursue, as well as preparing students for the world of work by providing them with an opportunity to focus on developing softer skills such as teamwork, organisation, problem solving and time-management.
Students take part in a range of careers activities throughout Post 16. We hold events that expose students to as many different careers as possible. The cross-Trust careers fair sees around a hundred different employers coming to Longfield Academy with students free to speak to all of them.
On a smaller and more focussed scale we hold the skills 30:30 event, which sees students speed network with 30 employers. In the past some students have gained work experience or employment directly from this event.
We focus on CV writing in tutor time, and make sure every student is well equipped to apply for jobs tailored to their requirements. We also hold mock interviews once a year for all Post 16 students. A range of employers are invited to come and put the students through their paces, often replicating the interview process they actually use in their own companies. This year we have had representatives from Kent Police, John Lewis, the NHS as well as senior lecturers from Canterbury Christ Church University for those students who wanted a mock university entrance interview.