Careers Leaders across UK secondary schools and colleges have hailed the launch of a new Employer Engagement App, committed to improving the life chances of young people by bridging the gap between learning and employment.
Officially launched in March 2021, Spark delivers a comprehensive, inclusive programme of live, interactive and professionally presented employer engagement events directly to students via a dedicated smartphone app.
Focused on ‘sparking’ or igniting student interest in careers opportunities, Spark also provides information on over 300 different career paths and 35,000 plus university and college courses, whilst listing full details on all current apprentice and job vacancies.
Students can also use the app to complete an interactive careers quiz with personalised Independent Advice and Guidance [IAG], delivered via a safe and secure instant messaging service that directly links them to their Careers Advisor to ask questions or arrange a time to discuss potential career options.
Trialled by hundreds of schools during National Careers Week 2021, Spark has received promising feedback from Careers Leaders UK wide, particularly as it helps Schools meet critical Gatsby Benchmark criteria, whilst creating a digital solution that easily engages students in career options.
Beth Robinson, Careers Lead and Senior Workplace Coordinator for Trafford College Group confirmed:
“The Spark app is an excellent resource that can effectively support the delivery of careers guidance for schools across the country. The live streamed employer engagement events not only eliminate the logistical challenge of welcoming a speaker into school, but are also delivered in a virtual format, which the majority of learners find easier to navigate.
In addition, as the employer engagement events provide insights to workplaces and provide the opportunity for students to submit and have their questions answered in real-time, Spark can help all schools meet a number of the Gatsby Benchmarks that are often challenging to hit.
Ultimately, I think the current pandemic has changed how work experience and careers guidance will operate for the long-term and apps, like Spark, will prove fundamental in driving this change by creating positive, virtual experiences that students can easily engage with.”
Originally established in 2018, Spark boasts a proven track record in delivering live employer engagement events to Schools across the country, featuring key employers like the Royal Navy, BMW and the NHS.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19, Spark ‘pivoted’ its approach and developed a new smartphone app to virtually deliver careers support to School, College and University Students across the country.
David Black, Chairman of Spark and previous Education Advisor to Barclays Bank and the BBC, added:
“Spark was founded and developed to provide schools with a valuable resource that ‘sparks’ interest and inspires students to think about their future in a format they are used to engaging with. We are, therefore, delighted to have received such positive feedback from Careers Leaders, like Beth Robinson, and hope both schools and students continue to find the app useful both during and post COVID-19.”