It was fantastic to have the chance to show young people just how many more routes there are into publishing than they might realise, and how many incredibly diverse roles we offer
Our events started on Monday, 14 November when secondary school students from across the North West and East of England joined an online panel event we ran in partnership with the charity Speakers for Schools. The members of the panel talked about the different routes they took to get into publishing, skills needed, things they love about their roles, challenges they face and things they’ve learned and would like to pass on.
The team from Cambridge University Press & Assessment included colleagues who design textbooks and new digital products, those who communicate with Cambridge schools all over the world, as well as content creators.
On Tuesday, 15 November, 45 students from four Cambridge state schools attended our career carousel designed to give students a chance to hear about different peoples’ working lives.
We ran this in partnership with Form the Future. The school students met people working in assessment, communications, design, editorial, HR, intellectual property, product management, project management, and sustainability. They also met current and former apprentices, two of whom have recently completed degree apprenticeships with us.
Students also had the chance to do mock interviews, and got help with their post-16 preparation for apprenticeship, college or university applications. We encouraged them to apply for our relaunched in-person work experience placements next summer.
Laura Kahwati, a teacher from St Bedes in Cambridge, said: "The students loved meeting the carousel of various employees: all at different ages, different levels and with different roles and different stories of how they got there, and where they are going. Students were particularly inspired by ideas about apprenticeships and by learning about skills needed in the workplace. The students benefitted from the mock interviews and also came away affirmed by how the interviewers praised them afterwards in their feedback. The task of writing a personal statement in Year 10 also gave them a head start for their UCAS applications next year."
On Wednesday, 16 November, 47 students from Nene Park Academy in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, took part in a workshop with our International Education schools team, designing a storyboard for an advert to promote a new schools product.
They presented their impressive work explaining the storyboards, key characters, background music and social channels they would use. The students also attended a career carousel, and had a tour of our new Triangle offices, University Printing House and Press Museum in Cambridge.
Vicki Barkney, Careers Lead at Nene Park Academy in Peterborough, said: "Once again Cambridge University Press & Assessment organised an extremely enriching experience for our students. Our students that attended have gained multiple soft skills to help them on their future employment routes as well as gaining knowledge of the wide variety pathways and job roles at Cambridge University Press & Assessment."
A Nene Park student said: "The experience was very enriching, in terms of learning transferable skills, such as teamwork and public speaking. I also learnt about a wide variety of jobs and opportunities available at Cambridge University Press & Assessment. The people I spoke with were very encouraging and most confided that they did not know what they wanted to do before they found their job. Those who are unsure of what they want to do beyond A Levels, or even GCSEs, would find the experience very helpful in building a wider picture of what's available to them, not just at Cambridge University Press & Assessment, but in any organisation."
Heidi Mulvey, Cambridge’s Head of community engagement, said: "It was fantastic to have the chance to show young people just how many more routes there are into publishing than they might realise, and how many incredibly diverse roles we offer, many of which didn’t even exist a few years ago. It’s always brilliant to see young people’s confidence grow in just a few hours as a result of these activities, and how creative and quick they are. I very much hope we’ll attract some of them back as future employees!"