Leading employers line-up to support young people’s careers education during lockdown

@CareerEnt and @OakNational have worked in partnership to create ‘My Week of Work’

  • Burberry, BAE Systems and NHS Trusts among employers to virtually ‘open their doors’ as part of new initiative
  • Free online content hosted on Oak National Academy and developed by education expert
  • Young people able to gain insight into working in five key economic sectors including health and social care

School pupils will be able to gain insight into the world of work despite the lockdown thanks to plans for a careers week at Oak National Academy.

The Careers & Enterprise Company and Oak National Academy have worked in partnership to create ‘My Week of Work’. The week – which will run from 8-12th June - is aimed at inspiring and preparing young people for the world of work.

At a time when young people, schools and businesses face unprecedented challenges, the initiative aims to mobilise some of the country’s leading employers to help.

Amid uncertainty about the long-term economic consequences of the lockdown for young people, My Week of Work will help make sure they are not ‘shut out’ from learning about work. They will still be able to benefit from high-quality interactions and insight into the different careers and workplaces.

Leading employers ‘opening their doors’

Burberry, BAE Systems, Morgan Sindall, Microsoft and NHS Trusts are just some of the 14 major public and private sector employers from across the country who have agreed to virtually ‘open their doors’ to young people as part of the new initiative.

Schools pupils will gain insight from employees in five key economic sectors: health and social care, creative and digital, engineering and manufacturing, energy and renewables, and construction. They will hear from employees, learn about the businesses, and complete virtual work tasks.

The Careers & Enterprise Company has led on developing the content in partnership with employers, careers providers, school leaders and careers education experts. The content is designed to be used either with the support of teachers, or by pupils independently. Though designed with year 9 and 10 pupils in mind, the content will be suitable for all secondary school students.

Insight into the workplace

June is traditionally the time of year when many pupils across the country take part in work experience. With lockdown and social distancing severely disrupting these plans, this new programme of activities has been designed to provide young people with insight into a variety of workplaces online.

The Careers & Enterprise Company has also partnered with virtual learning platform Learn Live to host live Q&A sessions for young people with a further 27 leading employers during the week, including names such as Balfour Beatty, the Royal Air Force and HSBC.

A full list of employers taking part in My Week of Work is included in the notes to editors.


Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, Gillian Keegan MP said:

“It is fantastic to see so many leading businesses virtually opening their doors to young people across the country this week.

“Allowing young people to gain an insight into the workplace, to shape their career goals for the future and to prepare for the world of work is vital. I’d encourage all those who are interested to log on and explore the opportunities on offer”

Matt Hood, Principal of Oak National Academy, said:

"Work experience week is such a fun, important and enriching part of the school year for pupils in secondary school. We wanted to make sure they could still gain valuable insight into the world of work despite lockdown measures. We are thrilled to be working with The Careers & Enterprise Company and helping every young person up and down the country to connect with leading employers. We hope ‘My Week of Work’ will provide all young people with valuable life skills, experience and knowledge to take forward so they can lead successful lives after school."

John Yarham, interim Chief Executive of the Careers & Enterprise Company, said:

“The lockdown has helped people realise that schools do so much more than teach the curriculum. That includes helping them to prepare for life after school. We know that many schools, colleges, employers and careers guidance professionals are working incredibly hard to keep that support going despite the lockdown. We hope this partnership with Oak National Academy and many of the country’s leading employers can contribute to that amazing effort.”

About Oak National Academy

Oak National Academy is an online classroom with high-quality video lessons and resources. It is free to use and has been created by over 80 teachers, with the backing of the Government. It is designed to help schools, parents and pupils balance learning at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Created at great speed, Oak is constantly expanding its core and extra-curricular offering. More information on Oak National Academy can be found at: www.thenational.academy.

About The Careers & Enterprise Company

The Careers & Enterprise Company is a government backed social enterprise whose mission is to prepare and inspire young people for the fast-changing world of work.

The CEC supports schools and colleges by linking them to employers and helping them deliver world class careers support for all young people. We do this by:

  • Building Networks: Linking schools and colleges to employers and other external careers providers
  • Supporting Careers Leaders: Providing training and support for Careers Leaders in schools and colleges.
  • Backing the Gatsby Benchmarks: Supporting implementation of a best practice standard for careers support, the Gatsby Benchmarks, with tools and targeted funding.

The full list of employers taking part in the Oak National Academy initiative includes:

  1. BAE Systems
  2. Bucks NHS Trust
  3. Burberry
  4. Cornwall NHS Trust
  5. Drax
  6. DRP Group
  7. EDF
  8. Hi-impact consultancy ltd
  9. Jacobs
  10. Microsoft
  11. Morgan Sindall
  12. The Sovini Group
  13. The Good Care Group
  14. Willmott Dixon

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