Determined Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) apprentices at MOD Abbey Wood in Bristol are helping local students prepare for the working world – despite the restrictions imposed by COVID-19.
The apprentices have been devising and delivering an Outreach programme with Olympus Academy Trust Schools in the North Bristol Area.
They are currently focusing on helping the pupils at Bradley Stoke Community School and are supporting them with mentoring, CV writing, mock interviews and an DE&S Apprenticeship awareness event, all of which assist pupils to reach their full employment potential.
The outreach programme runs four projects each academic year for Year 12 and 13 students. And this year COVID-19 has not deterred the apprentices who have run the Outreach programme virtually.
“We believe it’s more important now than ever before that students are as best prepared as possible for the world of work and are aware of the opportunities out there”
Dr Tim Sheldon, key DE&S sponsor for the Outreach programme, said: “I am really pleased with the progress the team have made this year with our local schools outreach programme. 2020 has been unlike any previous year given the impact of COVID-19 – our apprentices have done a great job rising to the challenge of developing and delivering a COVID-19 safe engagement programme in partnership with the local schools.”
Project Professional Apprentice, and CV Writing Workshop Project Manager, Abi Peart said: “Due to the COVID-19 circumstances we have had a change of scope. However, we have still pushed to deliver the projects for the school ensuring students are not missing out.
“We believe it’s more important now than ever before that students are as best prepared as possible for the world of work and are aware of the opportunities out there. DE&S has built up exceptional relationships with the schools in the local community and I’m very proud we were able to maintain that despite the unprecedented circumstances.”
Bradley Stoke Community School headteacher Steve Moir, said: “Their work has had an impact on many levels. Students have been given fantastic opportunities to develop new skills and to gain knowledge and understanding of different career pathways in different employment sectors that they may well never have considered previously.
“The personal aspect the mentoring and interviewing has on those individual students on their life chances, personal development and employment decisions also cannot be underestimated as the programme has grown and developed.
“Finally, our parents and wider community have been given valuable insight into a large local employer doing great things within our community.”