Cadbury College uses a piece of software called ULAS to track students' work experience, qualifications and soft skills. All upper sixth students are registered and using ULAS in their free time and in tutorials to record learning experiences and achievements, as well as find opportunities for more experience using the search bar on site. The majority of lower sixth are registered and are beginning to navigate the different function on ULAS. Students can access their account from their mobile devices at any time. This is an excellent tool for them and enables them to keep a detailed record of what they get up to inside and outside of College, as well as generate CVs and begin thinking about University personal statements.
Some of the upper sixth students will be taking on the role of ULAS Ambassadors in the coming weeks and will work with the work placement officer to deliver workshops to students introducing the software's newest features and giving refresher sessions for those who need it. The ULAS Ambassadors will gain leadership experience, improve organisation skills and develop more confidence as they act in this role, moreover, they will have invaluable work experience to add to applications - whether it be for University, employment or apprenticeships.
Cadbury College has a partnership with West Midlands Fire Service. WMFS is the second biggest fire service in Britain, with over 2500 employees. Operational members of the organisation are spread across 39 stations within the West Midlands area. WMFS is committed to serving its community, and one of the ways in which it inspires and promotes growth is its work with 16-18-year-old, college students.
They offer a comprehensive week-long work experience to Cadbury students where they have a chance to work with a selection of the departments in their headquarters site, including Fire Safety, Community Safety, Equality and Diversity, and Safeside. During the week, students participate in simulation training, deliver presentations to the public and experience working with the latest virtual reality technology. Work experience placements are available during half term and holiday breaks, and are a fantastic opportunity to get a taste of an industry students might not have considered before.
On the 19th of October, 4 Cadbury students who have previously participated in this work experience programme were interviewed and filmed for a WMFS promotional video. The video will be used throughout the West Midlands area for training and marketing purposes.
Over the Summer break many students made the most of their free time by participating in work experience with various employers all over the city, including childcare providers, healthcare services and schools. The work placement team worked with students to find placements and then went through the process of applying and securing their work experience. Each placement varied in length from 3 days to 2 weeks. The students thoroughly enjoyed their individual placements and gained skills that they can used going forward in their college studies, applying for University or in employment. Below are some extracts from students' placement evaluation;
"I understand more what it takes to be a teacher and the pressures that come with the job. I was given truthful, helpful feedback that will help me improve in future work experience placements and in my chosen career."
St Francis Church of England School
"I have gained more communication skills during this experience and developed my time management skills. The staff were friendly and went out of their way to teach me."
Hawkins Dental Practice
"This work experience opportunity has allowed me to work on and improve the skills and abilities that I am least confident with - it stretched me and helped me grow as a person. I believe doing a work experience will help other students who are wanting to improve themselves."
West Midlands Fire Service
"I have taken part in TATA Consultancy Services work experience that abled me to gain various skills like creative thinking, problem solving and critical thinking and strengthened my skills like team work, leadership, and communication skills."
TATA Consultancy Service