Key Voices #116 – Careers after Covid with David Chapman

“You can not replace the actual sights, sounds and smells of being in the workplace itself. While all this virtual work experience has been fantastic and really encouraging for our students, it doesn’t replace them actually getting on a bus, getting smartly dressed, getting to that business place and interacting with people.” 

This week we speak to David Chapman, Vice Principal at Aston University Engineering Academy (AUEA) about his experiences running careers information advice and guidance at the longest running University Technical College (UTC)  in the country. We talk about how he met some of the challenges of running a careers programme during COVID-19 and the importance of contextualising learning and involving parents in the careers process. 

We talk about: 
  • The purpose of UTCs and the history and context of AUEA 
  • David’s own career journey 
  • The impact of the pandemic on delivery of careers information advice and guidance in schools 
  • The remote offering that David developed at AUEA
  • Whether the english system asks young people to specialise or decide about careers too early 
  • How David is planning to compare what students think they might want to do on entry with their destination data to understand more about the impact of AUEA’s careers work
  • Some of the challenges other UTCs have faced with regard to recruiting students 
  • Schools, government and parents’ relative roles and responsibilities with regard to careers
  • The value of collaboration between schools on their careers strategies 
  • What government has done and could do to support good careers guidance in schools 
  • How crucial it is to involve parents in careers work and to make sure the child’s voice can be clearly heard
  •  The importance of developing the whole child, as well as their academic abilities to help them reach their full potential 


You can read the Careers after Covid report we mention here

You can find out more about Launch Your Career here 

There are useful resources for governors and leaders from The Careers Enterprise Company here 

“I think UTCs give students an option, for those who do know what they want to do, to pursue that dream and to gain those qualifications and experiences in that field, and at the end of it, they still have qualifications that are transferable.” 

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