Thursday, 29 October 2009

'We've got the WOW factor!'

When researching their degree choices students could be encouraged to examine the level of 'work readiness' as one of their desired selection criteria in either the university itself, or courses in particular. Liverpool John Moores (LJM) has no such worries on this front having taken the decision in 2007 to link up with some major companies in developing the WOW factor (World of Work skills) in their 421 courses.

'What about the money?'

Writing in the Guardian's' Money Section, Saturday 10th October 2009, Huma Qureshi in his article An Education in Financial Planning outlines how a generation of young people saddled with loans and debt need help to untangle the many money challenges facing them after leaving full time schooling.  Learning money management skills is very important work and for me would be an integral module in my sixth form CEIAG programme of work.

Would you like a career as a media technician?

The Belfast Telegraph's Job Finder section on the week ending 17th October carried an interesting article on a career in the media. The search is on for school leavers keen to pursue a career in the technology side of the media industry. The article was particularly timely given the hosting of the most recent Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) conference at Loughry College just the previous day.

Are there any jobs out there?

Given the current economic situation final year students at university positioning themselves to enter the job market in 2010, there isn't much cause for optimism.  This year's graduate market had fewer vacancies and with unemployment continuing to rise, students are bound to feel uncertainty at the very least. Some might be questioning the whole worth of spending money, effort and time on a degree. But is the downturn uniform across all sectors?

Are hospitality ambassadors coming to your school?

A new tourism and hospitality initiative is aiming to bring dynamic industry professionals into the classroom and lecture theatres of schools and colleges and to careers events throughout N.Ireland. People1st click here has developed this particular initiative supported by DEL and the NI Tourist Board through the Skills Action Plan for Hotel and Tourism.  People1st are recruiting those people within its industry who have had a successful career and are passionate about outlining the advantages of the industry to the next generation of employees/recruits across the province.

Scientists reveal that most babies born in Britain today will live past the age of 100!!

I'm startled to think that my two grand-daughters, born in March 2008, are likely to be living well into the first decade of the 22nd century! How will work have changed to cope with this increasing age profile? Here's an opportunity for you to explore the topic of age in your 'Futures' module in Year 13. Click here
Writing in the 'Sunday Observor' 27/9/2009, Robin McKee and Anuskha Asthana, reported that the Academy of Medical Sciences into old age revealed that 'healthy life expectancy is increasing at least as quickly as life expectancy!

We must prepare now for the jobs of the future!

In the aftermath of the recent STEM click here conferences at CAFRE Greenmount (9/10/2009) and CAFRE (Loughry), which focused on the food and drink, agri-food and land-based occupational sectors ( The agri-food sector is one of the FIVE key sectors identified by the recent Matrix Report click here for potential growth in NI..) there is a key challenge for schools and employers as the need for identifying, investing in and utilising the right skills, both now and over the longer term, is vital to sustain and grow the economy. This exercise in skills development will be critical to ensuring the north emerges strongly from the current downturn.