The Adviza team was delighted to partner with Oxfordshire Careers Hub, the Careers and Enterprise Company and OxLEP to deliver the Positive Destinations project earlier this month, facilitating a series of engagements between students at Meadowbrook College, local employers and further education.

Sandra Reynolds, Head of Delivery and Business Development at Adviza, said, “For me, the greatest impact was in the individualisation of work tasters that Adviza delivered to Meadowbrook College students. Our careers adviser, Vikki Franklin, met with them to understand their goals, and from that we could create bespoke work-taster experiences designed for maximum impact.

It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm of the employers who engaged in this project, particularly during a finale event where employers talked to students about the soft skills they look for—passion, energy, enthusiasm and going the extra mile—and to hear why those skills are so important in their businesses. The engagement between employers and the students was really positive and you could see the impact the event was having on the students.”

Read OxLEP’s full press release below. 

Oxfordshire Careers Hub celebrates the power of employer engagement in supporting Year 11 students at Meadowbrook College to find their best next step

The project sets out to support students attending alternative provision institutions who are at risk of NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) after Year 11 – to help these young people find a sustained place in employment, education, or training six months after leaving school.

Employers and training providers came together with students from Meadowbrook College to celebrate the success of Oxfordshire Careers Hub’s ‘Positive Destinations’ programme, culminating in a ‘Talent Workshop’ earlier this week (5 March).

The project – funded by The Oxfordshire Careers Hub and delivered by Adviza – has equipped 24 students with the opportunity to partake in the programme, which includes a 1-2-1 careers guidance session, followed by creating an individual action plan for each student which then led into a six-week employability workshop series which included workplace and college visits.

Over the course of the six weeks, students have been provided with the knowledge, skills and experiences to make informed decisions about their next steps, which – alongside considered interactive visits to both employers and further education colleges – work to reinforce, inspire and enable students to reach their full potential.

A total of 11 employers were involved in the project and two colleges were involved in the programme.

Employers who participated in the project were: 

  • The Oxford Film Company
  • Milestone Infrastructure
  • Leonardo Hotel
  • Old Swan and Minster Mill Hotel
  • Oxfordshire Skills Academy
  • The Close Care Home
  • Bicester Village 
  • Thomas Franks Catering
  • The Early Years Nursery
  • Ignite Sports
  • Royal Marines/Navy

Colleges involved in the programme were:

  • City of Oxford College – both the Oxford and Blackbird Leys Technology Campuses

Those employers involved in the final workshop were:

  • Helix
  • Milestones Infrastructure
  • Ignite Sports
  • Thomas Franks Catering
  • Morgan Sindall

In 2020/21, 41% of young people leaving alternative provision institutions were recorded as not having a sustained destination, compared to 9% of students attending mainstream schools.

With young people attending alternative provision institutions more likely to not be in education, employment or training post-16 than their peers attending mainstream education – Careers Hubs up and down the country have received funding from the Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC) to tackle the issue head on.

Sally Andreou, Skills Hub Manager at OxLEP, whose team deliver the Careers Hub programme in the county said: “Working with our many partners – including enterprise advisors, employers, training providers and the Careers & Enterprise company – we aim to support schools and colleges to ensure that all young people in the county receive ‘high-quality, 21st century careers education’ and a clear pathway into employment or continuing their studies. A vision that we have embedded across our Careers Hub, which underpins all of our work.
“We are incredibly proud of the work that has been done through our Oxfordshire ‘Positive Destinations’ project, delivering for students who are at risk of not being successful in gaining a sustained destination once they leave Year 11 – it is the tremendous commitment of Meadowbrook College in opening their doors to local employers and colleges, sharing their knowledge and engaging with these young people, that has allowed this success.
“Operating as the Careers Hub for Oxfordshire, we will continue to deliver in order to achieve our goal to ensure all young people in the county are provided with opportunities and guidance to allow a smooth transition into training, education or employment – whatever pathway they choose at 16 and 18.
“In order to ensure the retention of talent in the county, it is now we must do the work to build these relationships between employers and education.”

The project builds on Meadowbrook’s continual dedication to careers provision and ensuring students, who may have faced barriers to their learning, have the opportunity to overcome these and continue on to fulfilling futures.

Jacqui West, Headteacher at Meadowbrook College said: “The Positive Destinations project has made a real difference to some of our students’ next steps. They have been given the tools to develop their skills and personal organisation, and support to progress their search for employment or college post 16.
“Thank you to all involved, especially to the employers who engaged with the project. Our students came back enthusing about where they had been after every visit.
“After a visit to The Old Swan and Minster Hill Hotel, one student commented that they ‘didn’t even know places like this existed’, and after a visit to the Close Care Home a student is now seriously considering this as an area of work after their GCSEs, and has already spoken to them about work experience.
“Also the ‘posh coffee’ at Bicester Village won a few students over with one of them now booked in to return to a careers event there.
“The project has given our students an insight into opportunities they may not have considered before and encouraged them to aim high.”

The Oxfordshire Careers Hub works alongside a total of 58 schools and colleges from across the county, providing key activity that supports strong careers provision for young people in years seven to 13.

Over the past 18 months, the impact of the Oxfordshire Careers Hub has been positively felt, with the programme last summer reporting compelling results across several key benchmark areas.

Of the eight Gatsby Benchmarks, an average of over five of eight benchmarks are now being fully-met by schools and colleges in Oxfordshire, with 90% currently meeting a minimum of three benchmarks – a significant achievement given the major disruption felt by schools and colleges for much of 2020 and 2021, following the pandemic.


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19th March 2024