IT’S ABOUT YOU
Your journey to into the big wide World of work, careers, further education and enterprise has already started – had you noticed?
Probably not, as it’s a lot more fun than the ‘sitting behind a desk’ picture that says CAREERS.
So why not have some more fun and get control over your destination?
First, meet the team …
Jenny Stockman - Director/team leader
Jenny left school after gaining 3 A Levels and thought a creative and artistic career was her destiny. A brief taste of a general art and design foundation course made realisation dawn that the world of work was calling for her talents faster than colleges or Uni could deliver. A door opened with some hands on Saturday work in a career that, if it was to be found in the careers office at school, it had clearly migrated to a very comfortable secure hiding place where no-ne would mention it.
So what began as a job in industrial prototyping and model making turned into a career building a small business into a million £ turn over concern which revealed to Jenny that her creativity need not just have paintbrushes as an outlet. She discovered marketing, customer service, workshop and project management, quality control, sales, quoting, PR, relationship building … anything really that made business happen and enterprise grow.
Who’d have thought that would lead to Chairing a Business Association, doing research projects for business support agencies, major event management and more.
The journey for Jenny continues as she builds her own business and focusses on a passion discovered while volunteering as a business advisor for Young Enterprise. She just loves enthusing young people about all the possibilities out there just waiting to be found.
Tim Kerr – Director/SEES facilitator
When Tim left university he was absolutely certain that a) he would not be doing any more education and b) he would definitely not work with children or young people. Having turned those certainties on their heads, he has spent most of the last twenty five years expanding his knowledge and teaching.
Following short stints in publishing and advertising, Tim returned to Suffolk from London. He inexplicably spent several years working in the construction trade, undertaking a range of manual and managerial jobs. While this time was fun and lucrative, it lacked challenge. So Tim decided to work in insurance. This resulted in redundancy after a year, BUT provided the opportunity to undertake voluntary work with challenging children in a residential school. This was the time when he found a true calling. Work in social care and as a Teaching Assistant led to qualification as a teacher. The rest is history.
Tim has worked with a huge range of young people with equally wide levels of attainment in a variety of settings, both as teacher and education manager His interest in careers and personal development started when he worked with the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce on its Young Chamber Project. In this time, he developed a range of resources and tools to support young people from education to work and adult life.
Tim currently teaches in a Pupil Referral Unit in Ipswich with children who display challenging behaviour.
Volunteers and Facilitators
It’s all about ‘who you know’. Fresh Aspirations Forum will introduce you to business people, company directors, press reporters, sports personalities and a multitude of interesting people. In fact, if you have an interest, Fresh Aspirations will do everything they can to help you build up your connections and network relating to that interest.
Facilitators keep things moving at weekly meetings and a bank of volunteers add their experience, but you are in charge. Your opinion counts and your input is valued and acted upon. You shape what happens.
And because there is some specialised stuff that it’s really interesting to learn how to do, trainers are invited to come and share their expertise. Learning is not as much fun or nearly as challenging as actually doing though, so the priority is to use the skills you have learned. Get to grips with interviewing and then go out and talk to some fascinating people. Find your voice presenting then go and tell people about it. Pick up the basics of sales and marketing and make an impact running a stall.
The most important member of any team is you. You are unique and you have your own set of skills. Come and show us what you can do and we’ll show you that there’s even more to you than you realised.
How it works
Fresh Aspirations Forum gets together once a week to take part in activities that give you new skills, introduce you to fascinating people, give you a chance to socialise with like-minded friends and get involved in things that are happening locally. This may include being involved in events, press conferences, the community radio station, the local Business Association, experiences of work and business and being first to hear of opportunities relevant to you.
The meetings happen during an evening. There is currently a group in Framlingham that meets at Framlingham Technology Centre on Thursdays, 6.30pm – 8pm. If there is not yet a group near you then please get in touch.
Why create Fresh Aspirations Forum
If you think this is going to be all about careers, CV building, raising attainment and getting you motivated about your future, think again. This is all about you.
The experiences you have and the relationships that you build as a member of Fresh Aspirations Forum are all designed to give you a group that has a real sense of purpose and it has a space that is right for you. The weekly get-togethers are a social and enjoyable occasion. Everything has a purpose and every challenge will stretch you but be within reach so your confidence will grow as will the realisation that there is more to you than meets the eye.
And the careers and futures bit that drives this, but about which you don’t have to worry because it’s all built into the programme. You just reach the end of each year with a whole new toolkit when you thought you were just participating and having fun.
Over the last twenty years, the way we live and work has changed dramatically.
The impact of these changes on the world of work has been highly significant:
- ‘Soft’ skills and qualities such as good self-knowledge, adaptability, problem solving, effective communication, teamwork and resilience are as important as job related skills and qualifications.
- A single qualification is unlikely to sustain a person for their entire working life.
- The concept of a ‘job for life’ will no longer apply for most people who will change jobs and careers on numerous occasions in their working lives.
- There is a growing trend away from permanent employment towards different structures such as contract or project work.
- The quality of the working relationships and networks we are able to build will impact directly upon our ability to seek, obtain and sustain employment.
The purpose of Fresh Aspirations Forum is to support young people to be better prepared for some of the demands of the modern world of work and life.
Activities in Fresh Aspirations all link to a carefully designed framework of evidencing and evaluation (Skills Evidencing and Evaluation System SEES)The system aims to provide young people with the opportunity to know more about themselves and the importance of effective relationship skills in all aspects of their lives. Specifically, understanding and using relationships and networks are vital skills in an ever changing work environment.
Relationships are as unique as the individuals engaging in them. A general definition might be: The nature and quality of interactions between individuals or groups which are defined by mutual understanding of purpose.
Networking might be defined as: Meeting with others who have common interests which could potentially benefit business or personal needs.
The skills and qualities required to be successful in building, maintaining and using relationships and networks are varied. Young people will bring varying degrees of skill and knowledge to any situation. Those who flourish will be self-managing individuals who know their strengths and limitations have the confidence to follow their dreams and are willing to seek help from others.
We have made a few basic assumptions that inform the structure and content of the SEES.
- Generally, people have little awareness of their skills, qualities and talents beyond the formal academic model. This is perfectly reasonable given a recent trend in education to focus primarily on academic progress. There is simply not enough time to provide extended opportunities to develop self- knowledge and identify potential career pathways. Lack of success at school is frequently assumed to correlate directly with poor outcomes in adult life. This is not always the case.
- We cannot expect young people to ‘sell’ themselves in the career market place unless they have a good idea of what they are selling and where their uniqueness would be most likely to succeed. The starting point is therefore self-knowledge and awareness.
- Building relationships and networking are lifelong activities, both professionally and socially. As with any other area, there will be some who find the skills and knowledge easier to come by. We maintain however that all young people will be able to improve their skills and knowledge irrespective of prior experience or ability.