From the 19th to the 21st of July, Ditton Park Academy’s Year 10 students participated in our World of Work Insights Programme 
The first day’s virtual activity provided a valuable insight into the local business world and lessons into how the students could use Labour Market Information (LMI) to identify up-and-coming opportunities in their surrounding areas. The session wrapped up with a Q&A which covered topics stretching from business closures effecting local infrastructure all the way to gaming & social media, with everything linked back to LMI. 
On days two and three, students had the opportunity to speak directly to 8 business volunteers from an array of different sectors, in a relaxed coffee break format as well as a Q&A webinar. They gained an understanding of the different paths available to get a foothold in each volunteer’s respective sector. 
Apprenticeship and Trainee schemes were highlighted as alternatives to university, with all volunteers emphasising the importance of making the most of any work experience. During their downtime, students had completed modules in their workbooks which were complementary to the virtual sessions. These included: “A Day in the Life of…”, “virtual work ready placement” and “Exploring Career Pathways”. 
By the end of the programme, Ditton Park students had covered 5 of the 8 Gatsby benchmarks
Day one targeted career and labour market information (benchmark 2). 
Days two and three covered, students learning about the various pathways to differing career options, through direct discussions with employers (benchmarks 4 & 5). From their independent work on the modules assigned to them, they gained an insight into the experience of a workplace and the higher education system (benchmarks 6 & 7). 
The students not only demonstrated their curiosity and initiative by their participation; they earnt a deservedly big round of applause for their hard work and willingness to go the extra mile as the programme ran in their summer holidays! 
We would like to give our thanks to the following volunteers for taking the time out of their working lives to share their insights and support this event: 
Maxine Ingram – Sport4Kids 
Holly Phillips – Wates Group 
Glen McGowan – Wates Group 
Archie Bradshaw – VMware 
Alex Tanner – VMware 
Zoe Harrop – Xbox Games Studios 
Ola Szymaniec – Fairbrother & Darlow 
Lukasz Jadzewicz – Reckitt Benckiser 
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