Accordingly, we designed MyExperience @ City Square House, a three-year initiative, involving five full-day visits to the site by the same 20 students, from Mount St Mary’s Catholic High School, in inner city Leeds.
We ensured participating pupils were aged 11 or 12, and thus in year seven, when the programme began in March 2023, as they would choose their GCSE subjects shortly after its conclusion and taking part would enable them to do so armed with the maximum knowledge of relevant career opportunities.
The three-year timescale and involving the same students throughout the programme would also enable us to maximise the number of contacts between the young people and employers. We were mindful that, according to the Education & Employers Taskforce, ensuring a school pupil experiences four encounters with employers reduces their risk of future unemployment by 86 per cent, for example.
We’ve split the programme into three modules, with the emphasis on sustainability throughout its delivery. All the modules provide students with the chance to apply and develop skills like teamwork, communication and design or methodical thinking, through hands-on tasks and challenges. Each module also supplies a chance for students to explore the world of work by learning directly from professionals.
- Module one introduces pupils to the early stages of a major development project. It educates and informs them about roles and opportunities associated with the scheme’s design and building, particularly structural engineers, architects, construction workers, foremen, surveyors, and procurement professionals.
- Module two covers the construction’s middle phase. It spotlights careers and skills related to the fit-out and internal appearance, such as interior designers, electricians, joiners, landscape architects, security staff and office managers.
- Module three relates to the final construction stage and occupancy stages. It highlights roles and opportunities within DLA Piper, such as those in the law, finance, information technology, accounts, human resource management, marketing, and sustainability.
The programme’s detailed timetable includes:
- July 2022 – Initial planning
- March 2023 – Event one: Launch at DLA Piper
- Sept 2023 – Event two: The office of the future and interior design
- March 2024 – Event three: Fit out and project management
- September 2024 – Event four: Personal Skills and introduction to careers at DLA Piper
- March 2025 – Event five: Finale and celebration event at DLA Piper’s new offices
- April 2025 – Student focus group and the end of the programme.