Schools, colleges and businesses celebrate at first face-to-face event in Derbyshire

The achievements of a young adult with special educational needs who has secured an internship at Chesterfield Royal Hospital – plus an aspiring female electrician engineer - were recognised at an event to celebrate businesses and educators who have supported hundreds of students in Derbyshire.

By Julia Rodgerson
Monday, 4th July 2022, 8:53 pm
Updated Monday, 4th July 2022, 8:54 pm

The Derbyshire North Careers Hub brings local employers together to work with schools and colleges to support their careers programmes.

The event, which was held at The Whitworth in Darley Dale, was the first face-to-face meeting the Hub has had since being launched pre-lockdown, in February 2020.

Eighteen-year-old Jamie, a pupil at Alfreton Park Community Special School, gained valuable work experience with the Woodhead Group; a family-owned group of companies specialising in construction.

Pupils from Highfields School in Matlock. From left: Harry Watson, Jacob Amos, Jamie Waller – PE teacher and careers lead at Highfields School – Keeley Greaves and Taylah Charlton

He took part in real-life work place tasks such as keeping the building site safe and even brick laying.

Sarah Cutler is programme manager for Direct Education Business Partnership’s special educational needs programmes said: “Jamie has been a pupil at Alfreton Park since the age of four and, by his own admission, 14 years later, he feels that he needs a change to help with his personal development and wellbeing.

“He flourished under the guidance of Matt Bust at Woodhead Group, who are one of our Cornerstone group employers and huge supporters of the project. The work experience helped him to gain the confidence he needed to gain a place on an internship at Chesterfield Royal Hospital which, hopefully, can be transferred into paid employment in 12 months’ time.

“On average, the percentage of young people with a Learning Disability in the D2N2 area that is in employment is 1.8 per cent. We need to increase this figure by providing opportunities for these people and working together.”

Pupils from The Bolsover School with one of their career mentors; Matt Bust from the Woodhead Group.

Emma Dando, careers lead at St Mary’s Catholic High School, in Chesterfield, praised the Future Makers scheme, which has played a key role in launching the career of pupil Millie Liversedge.

Millie was mentored by Katie Burnham, who works for construction and property development company Henry Boot.

“I am absolutely delighted for Millie,” she said. “She will leave St Mary’s at the end of Year 12 to take up and apprenticeship with Western Power which, for Millie, is a dream job.

“The Future Makers project gave her the confidence to interview for the apprenticeship and this is definitely the right career path for her.”

Lisa Stones, of Chesterfield-based Mortgage First, with The Bolsover School pupil Matt Alsop and teacher Richard Stacey

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Marie Cooper, Group CEO of CBE+, a Chesterfield based engineering company, said: “If we don’t engage as businesses in educating and inspiring the young people in Derbyshire, then who is going to be running these businesses in the future?

“The only way we can do that powerfully is to collaborate; collaborate as companies, education partners, schools and colleges.

“There are some responsible businesses in Derbyshire, but there are some that need educating. I hear that they haven’t got the resources or they’re too busy to do this; but there is so much support out there for those of all levels.”