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8 engagement tips

As a careers professional working in a secondary school setting, we have a wide range of stakeholders to engage. Trying to manage all of these on top of our "normal" workload can be tricky.


Here are our top tips for engaging with what we see as the four main stakeholder groups.


Students

Involve them as much as possible in everything careers. Use your career brand far and wide across the school using posters, TV screens, tutor slides and pull up banners. If you don't feel like your career brand in particularly strong and graphic design isn't your strong point, run a competition and get the students to design your branding for you.


Set up a career ambassador or student voice group to help you continually shape and improve your careers programme based on what students actually want. If you don't know where to start with this, springpod have a great free programme.


Employers

After each interaction, send a thank you card with statistics from your feedback survey to show Employers what impact their time has had to the young people they worked with. Short snappy statistics work well, such as "X% of students felt they had a conversation that has helped them think about their future career".


Find out their goals and align events so that it helps them too. For example, if the early careers team at a local employer open their apprenticeship applications in February and are aiming to get at lead 50 applicants from local schools, allow them to do a talk that coincides with when their applications open.


Teachers

Set up a career champion network whereby the head of faculty nominates someone from their department to lead all on things careers. This provides you with a go to person for anything subject specific.


Involve teachers in your careers plans, if you can get a slot on a teacher training day then that's the perfect way to share why you're doing what you're doing and how they can help. You can also do things like have a poster on each teachers classroom about their career to date. I did this for a school once and made a tutor quiz where students had to match the teacher to their previous job. They were shocked to find that their physics teacher was once a DJ!


Parents

Parents can often have just as many questions as students, especially if their young person is considering a pathway they have not experienced themselves. Running a parent drop in on parents evening allows them to get answers to any questions they have. I find a big "STOP HERE TO TALK ABOUT FUTURES" sign works well.


Send any communications such as a newsletter, invite to employer talks or trips to universities to parents to. Make it very clear that it is a Careers event so that parents and students can easily distinguish what events are careers related.


We hope you find these tips useful. Check the blog or Instagram page tomorrow for 7 book recommendations!

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