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Students get industry insight

Nina Gunson, Sheffield Girls' High School Headmistress with Barnsley College Childcare and Education Professions students.

Our students had the opportunity to hear from a range of childcare and education profession experts through interactive workshops, presentations and activities as part of Childcare Industry Week.

Industry Weeks are an initiative created by the Enterprise department in order to raise students’ awareness of the career opportunities in their field of study.

“It isn’t a race and there isn’t one route throughout your life – you can explore careers and you’ve got to enjoy the journey. Remember to be kind to yourself and never allow an expectation of you to define you.”

Nina Gunson, Head at Sheffield High School for Girls, was among the first guest speakers in College. She spoke of the importance of work experience for those who wish to pursue a career in the childcare industry as well as how vital it is to try new things and enjoy the journey into a profession.

Nina went on to discuss the roles and benefits within teaching and the power teachers have to influence the next generation. She also touched on the roles she undertakes as Head such as finance management, building maintenance management, administrative work and the responsibility she has to share the collective student voice.

She said: “Success looks different for everybody; you have to find what makes you tick. What’s really important is finding the right fit and I encourage all students to never give up a vocation before trying the same thing elsewhere.

“It isn’t a race and there isn’t one route throughout your life – you can explore careers and you’ve got to enjoy the journey. Remember to be kind to yourself and never allow an expectation of you to define you.”

Students also heard from Katie Smith, Co-founder of Little Explorers Community Nursery. Katie discussed her journey into the early years industry including her job roles to date such as Early Years Outreach Worker, Senior Early Years Outreach Worker, Deputy Nursery Manager and College Lecturer. Katie’s session was interactive, engaging the students in discussions around work experience, qualifications, the desired attributes and skills of a childcare worker and different roles within the sector.

Katherine Spencer and Natalie Boswell from the FORGE Community Partnership in Barnsley also visited the College. They shared their knowledge of the opportunities available to students within the community if they hope to volunteer and highlighted the important work that the FORGE Community Partnership does from improving self-esteem of young parents, to developing sports and exercise within the community.

Julia Davies, Enterprise and Talent United Officer, added: “This year’s Childcare Industry Week has been mammoth. We have been so fortunate to have been visited by some truly inspirational guest speakers and I know how appreciative our Childcare and Education Professions students are to them all. I hope to welcome them back again next year as we do it all again!”

Students also heard from Maria Hamby, Childcare and Improvement Officer for Barnsley Council; Amy Stewart, Early Years Practitioner at Grimethorpe Family Centre; Peter Robertshaw, Founder and Chairperson for H.O.P.E in the Community; Katie Hartshorne, Holly Grimshaw and Christine Cook from Wellspring Academy Trust; Rebecca Barham and Abigail Horne from Provide Education; Anna Ryderewski, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist for acute medicine and spinal injuries; and Grace Williams, Teacher at Shawlands Primary School.

Our Enterprise department encourages students to explore industries and job prospects whilst they are studying as well as supporting students to develop their entrepreneurial skills and talents outside of their studies. The department offers opportunities for students to improve their communication, teamwork, problem solving and creativity skills and provides support to those who are setting up a business.

Last updated: 26th April 2022

Originally posted on: 26th April 2022

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