Career Academy
Prior Pursglove College

Mrs Moneypenny flies in to offer career tips

Heather McGregor, Chair of Career Academies UK, may be more widely known as Mrs Moneypenny, the host of Channel 4’s Superscrimpers. She flew into Teesside in order to pass on careers tips to students at Guisborough’s Prior Pursglove College.

The event was organised as part of Career Academies UK who work with 16-19 year olds to raise aspirations and bridge the gap between education and the world of work. They organise the provision of internships, mentoring, volunteering and provide motivational talks and workshops in schools and colleges.

Prior Pursglove College’s Career Academy day involved a range of activities including talks from Heather McGregor and The Fix Up Team’s motivational speaker Mr Beezy. Business students also promoted their own entrepreneurial activities and spoke to exhibiting local employers such as Yorkshire Bank, SSI, the North East Chamber of Commerce and Santander while students competed in a lunchtime talent showcase.

Former The Times Editor Anne Spackman also attended the event alongside Career Academies UK Chief Executive James McCreary.

Mr Beezy from The Fix Up Team gave a motivational speech to the students, many of whom are preparing for the Summer term’s rigorous exam schedule.

Encouraging and energetic, Mr Beezy communicated to students that “Success is not accomplished by magic; it’s achieved through hard work. You don’t have to be rich or smart to be successful; the only formula for success is hard work.

“Take Usain Bolt as a shining example. He trained for four years for a race that lasted for 10 seconds. That is a lot of hard work to achieve success. At college, you will face two years of hard work for a long successful career.

“Remember this; dream big, act now, never give up, be confident and enjoy life.”

Financial Times writer Heather runs headhunting company Taylor Bennett. She holds a pilot’s licence so flew her own plane into Durham Tees Valley Airport in order to meet students at the college and present a careers based lecture.

Speaking to students, Heather expressed that the most important career factors could be broken down into three key areas. She said “Your skills, mainly literacy and numeracy are extremely important.

“Experience is also vital. When constructing your CV remember that everything is relevant including anything where you’ve shown initiative to earn money or volunteered.

“Skills and experience are what employers are looking for but often the contacts you have formed will prove to be that extra selling point. Make sure you build positive relationships with your teachers at college, lecturers at university and with those that you work with as you never know when you may need to rely on key individuals for references when you’re applying for your dream job.”

Heather’s final thought for students was to take whatever life throws at you. “I’ve been thrust into many exciting projects and challenges such as writing for the Financial Times and hosting Superscrimpers. Try to be the best you can; work hard now and your efforts will pay off later in life.”

Vicky McDermott, Careers Academy Coordinator at Prior Pursglove College said “It was a fantastic day for our students and a great opportunity for them to network with local businesses. I would like to thank the businesses and individuals involved for agreeing to take part.”

16 year old student Qasim Hussain (ex King’s Academy) said “I really enjoyed the motivational speakers and benefitted greatly from Heather McGregor’s CV workshop.”

In 2012, five Prior Pursglove College students completed seven week placements at Santander as part of the Careers Academy scheme in which two students received offers of work at the bank. Ashley Scott (Ex Laurence Jackson School), 18, is currently working part-time while he completes his final year at college. Amie Dooley (Ex Laurence Jackson School), 19, completed her studies in 2012 and is now working full time for Santander. It is hoped that 2013’s intake of placement students will experience the same success.

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