Careers Guidance

Solihull Sixth Form College campusThe College provides excellent information, advice and guidance to young people from their first point of contact with us as they explore their post 16 study options right through to the completion of their studies and their future career paths. There is a comprehensive careers and employability programme which is evaluated in a variety of ways including feedback from students and parents/carers. The College first achieved the Career Mark Bronze Award in 2015 and has progressed to the Gold Award in 2019. We are delighted to have retained the national Quality in Careers standard using the Career Mark approach provided by Complete Careers and following a recent assessment (in 2021) that status remains in place for another two years.

Meet the Team

Careers leader – Assistant Principal Sonia Wood
Careers Adviser – Emma Podmore
The Careers and employability team can be contacted at careers@solihullsfc.ac.uk or 0121 704 2581.

The team deliver individual advice and guidance to students via 1-1 guidance, specialist workshops, CV support, university applications support and maintain and develop links with employers and higher education institutions. A member of the teaching staff leads on careers and employability related curriculum initiatives. Every BTEC student will follow a work experience programme and support is available to A level students in finding placements through links with employers and voluntary organisations.

See our Careers Policy

Career Mark Gold Award

The College’s intranet Moodle has information and advice for students to complement the individual advice. In addition, the College has well established links with universities and employers that are able to offer a range of opportunities form work experience, on site visits, taster sessions and 1-1s.

Careers and employability are also embedded into the Academic Coaching programme which all students follow, and through curriculum areas through a varied programme of delivered sessions, subject themes and incorporating trips and visits and enrichment events. All curriculum areas report on the progress they are making to develop careers and employability opportunities. The coaching programme can be viewed here and works towards the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks. Evaluation and impact of the Programme is reviewed annually by the annual Student Voice and Parent Survey processes. Our work towards the Career Mark has also enabled the College to measure and assess the impact of our Careers programme. Our Destination Report for 2020 also provides a useful insight into the effectiveness of our Careers programme.

Careers Fair

Every year a Careers Fair takes place in the Summer Term (The video below shows that that normally looks like). The 2020 Careers Fair was unable to take place due to Covid social distancing restrictions and the College held a virtual Careers Week instead. It comprised a series of activities to complete, through live online events and online research tasks – to help students with research and planning for progression into higher education, apprenticeships and employment.

The Careers Week included Live Events from the National Apprenticeship ASK Service and from Newman and Nottingham Trent Universities, as well as student participation in the events. The Research Activities covered four activities for students to engage with over the weeks of 15th and 22nd June 2020 and for students to complete at their own pace throughout the fortnight. These were designed to give an understanding of the range of options available to students. Academic Coaches followed up in 1-1 appointments to gauge students’ engagement with the week and individual target setting.

The College uses national and local labour market information and destinations information of our students to inform our careers and employability programme and the individual advice and guidance, which supports student choices for the next step.

Links for Further Research

Students, parents/carers and employers may find the following websites useful for further research:

Advocacy Matters – Supports young people with SEND.
Amazing Apprenticeships – Parents Resources regarding apprenticeships.
Apprenticeships – Government site which shows live apprenticeship vacancies.
Apprenticeships – A useful apprenticeships guide for parents.
Barclays LifeSkills – Activities and information regarding the world of work.
Careersbox – Videos and clips of various jobs and careers.
icould – Information, case studies on a variety of careers.
LMI for All – provides high quality, reliable labour market information (LMI) to inform careers decisions.
National Careers Service – The government careers websites – information, employer profiles, National and local labour market information, interest quizzes.
Plotr – Information on different careers, employer profiles, labour market information, and a careers quiz called ‘The Game’.
Russell Group – The Russell Group is an organisation which represents 24 leading universities. Advice in the Informed Choices pdf on choosing A level subjects and university entry.
Solihull for Success – Solihull MBC Employment and Skills Team are available to offer support in finding employment and training.
STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths careers with a focus on encouraging girls into these careers.
Step into the NHS – Opportunities and careers offered by the NHS.
UCAS – Useful website to search for Post 18 courses, advice and information on applications.
The Uni Guide – A useful website which offers useful information on university choices
Notgoingtouni – Alternative ideas to university study
School leaver options – Information and advice on options after post 18 study including a parents guide.
University of Birmingham – A2B outreach and access scheme for applicants
Birmingham Careers Service – Support and advice on options for young people
Volunteering Opportunities – Advice and opportunities on volunteering
Volunteering centres – Advice and opportunities on volunteering