A Northumberland school has been praised for its work with a pioneering national initiative that aims to transform the way that careers guidance is delivered to children.

The Northumberland Church of England Academy (NCEA) is one of 16 North East schools and colleges working with the North East LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) in the National Careers Benchmark Pilot. The initiative aims to build links between education providers and businesses and is being financed by Lord Sainsbury’s Gatsby Foundation.

A letter of commendation to the school from Gatsby education advisor, Professor Sir John Holman, said: “The impact of your work is reaching beyond your own school; you are the catalyst for change both across the North East region and the country.

“We firmly believe that The Northumberland Church of England Academy is helping to carve out the future direction of career guidance in England.”

One of the highlights of the Academy’s careers’ calendar is the annual World of Work (WOW) Day, which takes place at the Josephine Butler Campus in Ashington.

Over 50 leading employers and learning providers from across the region gathered at the 2017 event to give students inspirational insights into a huge range of exciting careers.

The Academy has also forged close links with industry, including Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, Blyth, where three students from the expanding sixth form, JBVI, recently carried out a week-long work placement.

The Academy’s careers and employability manager, Mark Fox, said: “The support of local businesses is vital in helping to inspire the next generation and give them an insight into the world of work.

“Such a diverse range of employers created a real buzz in the Academy and we would like to thank everyone who gave up their time to come along.

“Businesses can support schools in many ways, from offering work experience placements, to workplace visits, one-to-one mentoring and class talks.”

Benedict Moore, marketing manager, ORE Catapult, said: “The World of Work event was an excellent way for us to engage directly with students at NCEA, giving them an insight and direction into careers and the skills required in offshore renewable energy.

“ORE Catapult shares a strong partnership with NCEA and we believe it is incredibly important to engage with and support their students, especially in STEM. A good example of this was hosting students from the school for work experience week, providing a genuine engineering challenge involving intuition and problem-solving.

“We were both impressed and delighted to see the students so engaged and invigorated by their experience. For us, this is what working alongside NCEA is all about: inspiring the next generation of young talent that exists here in the North East.”

To find out more about careers guidance for students or about how your business can get involved please contact Mark Fox at mark.fox@ncea.org.uk