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National Careers Week 2024

This National Careers Week, the focus was on preparation for adulthood, especially for our post-16 students.

With a focus for preparing for the future, National Careers Week 2024, focussed on external visits to workplaces and getting our post-16 students ready for what different work places would be like. These visits were organised through our Employability Programme (you can find out more about that here).


The week kicked off with a visit from Tailored Leisure! 

Tara (the founder of Tailored Leisure) and Nick (a trustee) came into Hedleys College to share their experience of creating a company. They talked about the importance of branding and working with stakeholders, as well as the need to recognise your own limitations to ensure you reach out to others you have strengths in areas which you do not.

Sharing their learning with students from Percy Hedley School and College gave the opportunity to ask questions and encourage students to consider becoming future business owners. Tara and Nick and the team at Tailored Leisure continue their important work in creating a society accessible for all, through their accessibility auditing programme and are encouraging us to continue this journey with them.

The students were asked what they learned from the session and they said:

“All you need to start a business is an idea.”

“It’s important to make spaces accessible for all.”



A Visit to the Grand Hotel Gosforth

Students got the chance to tour the Grand Hotel in Gosforth, as well as find out all the different roles within a hotel.


A Trip to AkzoNobel, the paint factory in Ashington

Students from Percy Hedley School and Hedleys College visited paint manufacturers AkzoNobel at their hi-tech plant based in Ashington, Northumberland. The plant is the worlds worlds most advanced and sustainable paint plant, so students and staff were delighted to be invited along to see how things work and hear about the different job roles available within this industry.

Steven and Jo from the AkzoNobel team were excellent guides and talked the students through every aspect of the paint making process, taking them on to the gantry so they could see first-hand how the paint is poured into pots, labelled up and sent out for distribution.  Thank you, Steven, Jo and the team, for taking time out of your busy day to inspire our students and open their minds to the possibility of working within the paint manufacturing industry.

Interview Preparation

Then businesses such as Greggs, Bowmer and Kirkland, and Disability North came into Percy Hedley School for some interview preparation. Students from both Percy Hedley School and Hedleys College took turns doing mock interviews with the business of their choice. Afterwards they received feedback on their interview. This is a great way for them to practice a key skill, which they’ll use in the future.

A Visit to Newcastle Building Society

Students and members visited the Newcastle Building Society offices in Newcastle. There, they received a tour by Stevie and Thomas, being shown all the different parts and roles within Newcastle Building Society.

Abbie and Richard from Hedleys Horizons had this to say about the trip, “It is breath-taking the support which they give their staff, I really enjoyed visiting,” and, “I learnt about the work which the IT team do including developing robots.”

They had a lovely time!

Then the most exciting of all:

A Tasty Trip to the Greggs Factory!

Students, members and staff got to visit the Greggs Factory at Benton and had a tour of the facilities. There they got to see how their favourite treats were made and what jobs are available within Greggs. They were all overjoyed with the visit and even got a sausage roll to take home afterwards.

It was the perfect end to National Careers Week!

Northern Counties

Northern Counties also got involved in National Careers Week.

Learners took part in a range of hands on activities to learn about job roles within different sectors from the police and NHS to horticulture and hair and beauty. We were lucky enough to have visits from Northumbria Police and Dr Colin Hill to give students and staff lots of information and answer all of their questions. Fun was had by all and everyone is already looking forward to next year.

Want to know more about National Careers Week?

See below for last year’s fun as well as more information about the Careers Week as well as how you can get involved as a business through our Employability Programme.