Schools are challenged to create an effective careers programme with often limited resources. Careers Advisors are increasingly being measured against the Gatsby Good Careers Guidance Benchmarks1.
I’m a Medic can help support a school’s career programme, and meets five of the Benchmarks:
Benchmark 2: Learning from career and labour market information
Every pupil, and their parents, should have access to good quality information about future study options and labour market opportunities. They will need the support of an informed adviser to make best use of available information.
On the website, students can search different healthcare careers and find out about Labour Market Information, and speak with healthcare workers with first-hand experience and a unique insight into labour market opportunities.
Benchmark 3: Addressing the needs of each pupil
Pupils have different career guidance needs at different stages. Opportunities for advice and support need to be tailored to the needs of each pupil. A school’s careers programme should embed equality and diversity considerations throughout.
The activity is student-led. Pupils are able to pose the questions most important to them as individuals; they can direct their questions to the professionals most relevant to their personal interest. The questions they ask reflect their current stage when thinking about careers – one Y9 may ask for GCSE advice, while another might want to know about work experiences, or the UCAS application process.
The activity’s online platform allows 1000s of students to have near-simultaneous conversations with 25+ of professionals, each tailored to their own needs.
Benchmark 4: Linking curriculum learning to careers
All teachers should link curriculum learning with careers.
The I’m a… activities are career interventions that are embedded in curriculum studies. Teachers often refer back to the activity and the professionals involved during later teaching of relevant parts of the curriculum.
The student-led nature of the activities mean that conversations revolve around a mixture of subject-specific questions and careers/education questions, based on the interests of the students. Professionals often link subject-specific questions to their work and careers, and their varying careers demonstrate the value of STEM subjects for a range of future professions.
Benchmark 5: Encounters with employers and employees
Every pupil should have multiple opportunities to learn from employers about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace. This can be through a range of enrichment activities including visiting speakers, mentoring and enterprise schemes.
Every student taking part in the activity has the chance to connect with different healthcare workers in different work environments.
The online, informal, pseudonymous nature of the activity provides students with direct and authentic encounters in a manner unmatched by more formal face-to-face meetings.
Through their conversations, professionals communicate to students the skills that are valued in the workplace, and what it is like to work in their field on a day-to-day basis – they’re not just showcasing the best parts.
Benchmark 7: Encounters with further and higher education
All pupils should understand the full range of learning opportunities that are available to them. This includes both academic and vocational routes and learning in schools, colleges, universities and in the workplace.
The activity will normally include a mixture of healthcare workers, some of whom have taken a vocational, others an academic route. Some are fairly recent graduates with current experience of higher education and apprenticeships, able to offer relevant advice and insights to students.
Profiles often include links to employers and educational facilities, and, where available, links to more information about entry routes to their profession.
For more information about the Gatsby Benchmarks, see goodcareerguidance.org.uk
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1. The benchmarks were established to improve career guidance in England and are part of the government’s careers strategy, www.goodcareerguidance.org.uk