Students learn about possible career choices

Berwick Academy hosted its most ambitious careers fair yet last Thursday, with approximately 70 guest speakers.

Thursday, 20th July 2017, 9:32 am
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:16 pm
Berwick Academy pupils with careers event speakers chef Lorna Robertson, Theatre manager Philip Wright, Fund Manager Jonathan Tweedie and Kevin Ball Sunderland football club. Picture by Jane Coltman
Berwick Academy pupils with careers event speakers chef Lorna Robertson, Theatre manager Philip Wright, Fund Manager Jonathan Tweedie and Kevin Ball Sunderland football club. Picture by Jane Coltman

An impressive 23 career sectors were represented, including accountancy, banking and finance, engineering and manufacturing, media and internet, law enforcement and security and science and pharmaceuticals.

Approximately 180 middle school students from Berwick, Tweedmouth and Glendale attended a starter session in the dining hall. They were given careers booklets which outlined their chosen sessions for the day. They were encouraged to assess their own skills and abilities, and then to consider jobs that would best suit their interests and skills.

Year 8 middle school students at the careers event hosted by Berwick Academy.

Year 9, Year 10 and Year 12 Berwick Academy students also attended.

The school’s aims were: To engage with the local community; build links between school and local businesses; show the links between education and careers; and to raise aspirations and motivate students.

Homebase supported the fair by supplying free flowers for reception and the guests’ room. Staff also came along to talk to students about retail and sales.

Guest speakers included Phillip Wright, director of Sell A Door Theatre Company. He talked about the privilege of working in theatre and getting to see the results of your work every night on stage.

Year 8 middle school students at the careers event hosted by Berwick Academy.

Playwright Torben Betts talked about his experiences and struggles to become a respected and published playwright. He got students thinking about how they are natural storytellers; from a very young age, we create stories to help make sense of the world around us.

Local musician Iain Petrie spoke about the Inspired! Project, set up to give young singer/songwriters a chance to develop their talent and show the world their music.

Stephen Clark, one of the top cardiovascular surgeons in the country based at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, delivered an hour-long super-session. He talked about the long educational process of becoming a specialist surgeon, the dedication and tenacity. It takes 10 years of training following six years of medical school.

He showed students photos and video clips of his operations, including a heart transplant and a machine which is used to keep a human heart beating after it has been removed from an organ donor.

MasterChef finalist Lorna Robertson, a former Berwick Academy pupil, talked about working in PR and getting students to consider imaginative ways to promote a company or build a brand.

Former Sunderland caretaker manager turned club ambassador Kevin Ball talked about the high pressure of managing games and spoke about the impact that you can have on individuals’ lives all through life.

John Tweedie, of Brewin Dolphin, talked to students about finance and investment along with Colin Frame, Greaves West and Ayre; Lynn Chambers, UK Audit; and Helen Taylor, from Deloitte.

Delegates were thanked for giving up their time and for offering students the opportunity to learn about a myriad of careers.