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Closer to industry with EAL pledge

EAL encourages schools to take a step closer to industry

EAL is helping to secure future skills in industry by encouraging schools, academies and University Technical Colleges (UTC’s) to pledge to offer impartial careers advice, have closer ties with industry employers and invite apprentices to talk to students.

EAL launched the ‘Closer to Industry with EAL’ pledge following a survey by the Industry Apprentice Council (IAC). Made up of young apprentices from across the country, the IAC survey found a serious lack of careers guidance when it comes to apprenticeship opportunities.

Closer-case-study2The first school in the UK to be recognised for being ‘Closer to Industry’ was Castell Alun High School in Flintshire. They have pledged to offer impartial careers advice and promote vocational education as an equal route to university.

To mark the occasion the school was presented with a plaque by Julia Chippendale, Managing Director of EAL and Gavin Jones, Early Careers Programmes Manager at Airbus in Broughton after students got a chance to quiz three Airbus apprentices about their experiences in industry.

Castell Alun High School has strong links with Airbus. Headteacher Graham Hughes began his career as an engineering apprentice at Airbus before moving into education and he is passionate about promoting apprenticeships as equal to the academic route.

“We do a lot of work in the school to ensure that our students are aware of all the options available to them” he said. “A dedicated learning coach, after school clubs and building personal relationships with employers are key to ensuring our students have the best chance to make the most of their future.”

Closer-case-studyJulia Chippendale said the school was a shining example of what could and should be done. She is urging all schools to sign the pledge and give students proper advice as to what is on offer.

“Too often we hear stories of academic snobbery where young people are actively discouraged from taking apprenticeships or not even told about them,” she said.

Gavin Jones said: “Attitudes are changing, but even with a brand as big as Airbus offering the career opportunities we have available, we still find it hard to convince people that apprenticeships are not just a second choice to university.”

Closer to industry with EAL pledge

EAL is inviting schools, academies and University Technical Colleges (UTCs) across the country to sign up to the pledge to offer impartial careers advice, promote the vocational route and work with employers to reveal the potential of industry careers to young people.

By signing the pledge the participating schools/academies/UTCs will agree to:

  • provide unbiased careers advice and promote apprenticeships and the vocational route as equal to the academic route into higher education
  • invite industry apprentices to visit their school to share their personal experiences with students and talk about careers in industry
  • work with local employers to offer their students a chance to experience work in modern day industry through careers fairs, work experience and visits.

Those who sign the pledge will also be able to display the badge ‘We are Closer to Industry with EAL’ on their website and in literature.