Employment skills and interviews were the focus of a workshop that took place on behalf of KPMG. Year 10 students worked together to construct a mannequin that was then given some of their talents and attributes. They then had to work out a ‘career’ path for it and answer interview questions.
The event was run by Charlotte Evans, Chris Corcoran and Debra Bryan from EdComs. It is being piloted at nine schools and may be rolled out across the country.
Chris said: ‘EdComs work with a number of different clients designing live educational experiences and this is a project from KPMG looking at employability skills. A big focus of the workshop is around teamwork and employability skills, getting ready for the world of work, specifically targeted at this age group because they are increasingly having to make choices about the direction they want to go in life. This is looking at the sorts of skills and attributes that employers are looking for and helping students to think about where their natural skills are, how that might lead into the world of work and where there are gaps.
‘Their focus becomes the mannequin and their objective is to make the mannequin become the most employable that they can be. The mannequin takes on the hobbies and interests of the group. The first task they have is to put the mannequin together and dress it. They give it a credible name and the beginnings of an identity. Then there are exercises to allow them to give their mannequin attributes. Then they start a career area and specific job title. We give suggestions or they come up with their own. We think about a route, academic, university or an apprenticeship or start own business. They put together their CV. It is all working towards an interview that happens at the end. They talk about the career they want to go into and we ask a couple of questions and test that skill of thinking on their feet.
‘The students were fantastic, getting on with the tasks working cooperatively right through to the end when they were asking really insightful questions and actually coped really well under pressure. The message is about joining everything up, first impressions count, your physical appearance is important. Know who you are going to meet and dress accordingly, present your CV well so it presents you in the best possible light and anticipate the sort of things that are going to be picked out of your CV.
‘KPMG felt it was important to get people prepared for the world of work and to give young people those sort of resources. It is a difficult jobs market that young people are getting into and they need the support to be able to have a sense of how to make the best of their interests and attributes and where to go to develop their skills.’