Employability — Solihull Sixth Form College


Solihull Sixth Form College is keen to work with employers and we value the contribution that they make to the development of employability skills for our students. We are looking to develop partnerships with more employers.

To this end, an Employability Fair took place in March 2023, with a range of employers represented with stands set up in our Sports Hall and by a range of talks taking place across campus. BTEC students and Year 13 employment seekers attended and got a lot out of the afternoon. Highlights from this event can be seen in the video and photos below. If you are interested in getting involved call 0121 704 2581 or send an email to Careers. The Careers Lead is Assistant Principal Trevor Irving.

We are working with our Enterprise Adviser (Careers and Enterprise Company Life Ready Solihull, Solihull Careers Hub) and local Chambers of Commerce to review our work with employers and how as a college we meet the Gatsby Benchmark and CDI standards. We are currently working towards the Gatsby Benchmarks, which are a national framework of 8 guidelines that define the best careers provision in colleges and schools. We work with employers to ensure that our careers programme meets the Benchmarks 4, 5, and 6, which are:

• Linking curriculum learning to careers
• providing encounters with employers and employees
• providing students and staff experiences of workplaces

Our curriculum teams already work with local and national employers on a range of projects, activities and events. Shown below are some case studies of the work that has taken place in recent times, where our curriculum areas have engaged with employers. These are just some examples of what has taken place and we would encourage you to get in touch with our Careers Lead (Assistant Principal Trevor Irving) for further information and advice regarding how you can get involved.

There are many ways employers can get involved. Many of our students look for work experience placements. Indeed, our BTEC and CACHE students do this as part of their programme of study. The courses they study at BTEC/CACHE are Applied Science, Art & Design, Business, Childcare & Education, Health & Social Care, IT and Sport and we are actively searching for placements within these areas. However, we also have a range of A level subjects and students within these courses may also be looking for work experience.

If employers are not able to offer work placement opportunities, there are other ways they can get involved. Our students have benefited from visiting experts in College, to offer advice and deliver mock interviews for their apprenticeship applications. Employers have contributed Careers talks at our Careers & HE Fair. Our Students take advantage of work experience placements both in person and virtually; during the pandemic students have been able to access a range of work experience placements through a variety of organisations including opportunities offered by the Speakers for Schools programme. Placements have taken place with The National Portrait Gallery, Reed Smith and Hart Biological.

Our annual the Careers and Higher Education Fair has been held virtually for the past two years and this year we were able to hold the event in person on Wednesday 29th June 2022 (click the image below to see the programme from the 2022 event). It was organised by the Careers Team and offer the chance for employers to meet our students through occupational and sector seminars and by having a stand at the events. Employers wishing to attend these events are urged to contact Assistant Principal Trevor Irving for more information.

The benefits to employers and local business from working with our students are clear. Not only are you making a real difference to our students’ educational development, they will be developing students’ skills to ensure that the future workforce is employer ready and knowledgeable about the skills they will need going into the Labour Market.

Solihull Sixth Form College is proud to have Alumnae who have entered a range of careers and professions. Each year members of this alumnae come back into College to provide talks and presentations to existing students. For example, at the 2021 Virtual Careers Day, recent alumnae Nathan Rodrigues from Serco gave the Keynote address.