Hodge Hill College

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Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG)

The CEIAG programme is designed with the core aims of developing HHC students through employability education, allowing the pupils to learn about the world of work and preparing the students so that they make the right choice for them with their next step in education and have the skills and attitude to be successful in this.

These aims are achieved through a number of different initiatives which are tailored to what is most appropriate at the pupil’s stage of education. The vast majority of these events utilise external professionals from the world of work as we believe that they have the most relevant experience and skills to pass onto our pupils. Over the last few years Hodge Hill College has developed a number of professional working relationships with companies such as Lloyds Banking Group, Deloitte, Capgemini and Balfour Beatty Vinci amongst others. There are also excellent rapports with local Further Education institutes where many of our pupils apply to and continue their education. These links can be witnessed in the consistent support these companies and institutes have offered us with our CEIAG initiatives.


Summary of Events

Students in all year groups at Hodge Hill College involved in CEIAG events can expect to be involved in a variety of trips such as business walks, university visits and to relevant national events. Internally, there will be guest speakers and events such as Careers Speed Dating and the Further Education and Apprenticeship Fair.


Dragons Den

Hodge Hill College participates in the annual Birmingham Professional Services Week which includes trips to employers in the professional, financial and business sectors and also initiative inside school. The Dragons Den event saw employees including lawyers, accountants, digital marketers and architects set several small groups of our pupils a challenge by providing them with a product and the students then had to decide how to evolve this and sell it to the judges.  The teams had to decide on roles for each person such as marketing and product directors and were then grilled after their presentation in front of the judges.





BT Work Skills Bootcamp 

The BT Work Skill Bootcamp is an annual trip which allows 40 selected Year 10 students to visit the BT offices within central Birmingham and test their employment readiness. It is hosted by current employees of BT and they set the pupils a number of tasks throughout the day in order to develop and improve their work skills. These include a C.V. workshop, job description breakdown and how to remain professional upon social media citing examples of people losing jobs because their superiors have seen something inappropriate upon social networks done many years ago.  The last task is an Apprentice style event where the pupils are put into small groups, provided with an everyday item such as a jacket or wardrobe and tasked with improving it and presenting it to the BT employees.




Envision Project 

Envision ProjectThe Envision Community Apprentice Programme was a long term structured programme which saw 13 HHC students choose a charity and over three months build a programme of fundraising which saw them learn and develop various skills such as financial planning, marketing and teamwork. The programme included three separate visits to the Lloyds Banking Group offices in Brindley Place where the pupils talked their fundraising ideas through with a group of business mentors from Lloyds.  The team who named themselves ‘Team Rising Hearts’ hosted a number of events including a samosa sale and football tournament within school as well as a bake and merchandise sale at Lloyds.  This programme was a regional competition against several other schools in the West Midlands and Team Rising Hearts came an agonising second with the guest panel commenting on how close the decision between first and second place was.



University of Birmingham Visit

A group of pupils visited the University of Birmingham for a taster day which allowed the pupils to learn about the various aspects of university life. Our students learnt about the importance of GCSE subjects as due to the sheer competition for higher education places, admissions are now looking into GCSE results as well as A-Level grades.  Our pupils also had a tour of the huge campus led by student ambassadors.






 Your Green Future

Your Green Future

This is an annual interactive event which Hodge Hill participates in. It engages students with the role of sustainability in the economy and what this could mean for their future careers.   It does this through a series of creative workshops which sees students work with a number of employees ranging from H&M to IKEA to Rolls Royce to investigate industry challenges and the role of STEM and sustainability in innovation, business, waste, energy and urban design.





BBC 1XTRA Inspire Tour

BBC Radio returned to Hodge Hill College this year with 1Xtra as part of their tour to inspire Year 10 with a panel-based around the question of ‘What would I tell my 15-year-old self’?

Amongst the panel this year was Renee from BBC Operations, C4 a nationally renowned rapper from Aston and Sam Rasmin who writes for Creative Gen UK. The host of the panel was once again Hodge Hill College alumnus Sideman Allday who brought his unique flavour of street language and wise words to the event.

The panelists spoke about numerous things such as their GCSE choices and the roles these subjects play in their current projects,  for example, both C4 and Sam Rasmin talked about how their English education helps them in their respective writing ventures. Renee spoke about her experiences in a very high pressure but often male-dominated industry and how she was metaphorically breaking down doors to make it easier for female students to enter this sector.

Thank you to all of the panelists involved and we hope the advice was useful for our Year 10s .



 FE & Apprenticeships Careers Fair 

Year 11 pupils took part in the annual FE & Apprenticeship Careers Fair which allowed them to talk to 11 institutes offering various avenues to continue their compulsory education until the age of 18.

The pupils were informed beforehand about which organisations would be in attendance, therefore, they had to prepare relevant questions in advance as they only had one hour to speak to all 11 institutes in a university-style career fair.

Our pupils gained lots of very useful information and were fully engaged throughout. The visitors were very complimentary about our pupils, commenting on their enthusiasm and probing questions.

A very big thank you to all of the visitors who took the time out of their busy schedules to make such a positive impact upon our students.


Pupils Experience Higher Education - KS3

A group of KS3 pupils had the chance to visit the University of Birmingham in a bid to broaden horizons about higher education and raise aspirations.

The day started with a quiz about the university including the degrees that various celebrities did such as Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson with his General Studies degree or Gerard Butler with his degree in Law. Our host made it clear that many employers often value the transferable skills which students gain through their time at university such as presenting and researching rather than the actual degree itself.

Our pupils then had a tour around the huge campus which will certainly make them think differently when they complain about going from Maths to Computer Science at Hodge Hill College! They witnessed the many different teaching areas such as lecture halls where up to 300 students can be listening to one lecturer. The day ended with a university-style seminar on mental health.


Hodge Hill College Welcomes Alumnus Guest Speaker - Mr Tahir Mahmood

Hodge Hill College welcomed Mr Tahir Mahmood who was here to speak to selected Year 9 and Year 10 students about his journey from leaving Hodge Hill in the 1980s to now working as a Senior Electronic Engineer for Nissan in their Technical Centre based in Milton Keynes. Mr Mahmood spoke about the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) and how it is used daily within his role and therefore, students who are thinking about studying these subjects in later education can make better-informed decisions about them.

Mr Mahmood also told the students about the fantastic opportunities within apprenticeships available, especially within the engineering sector where the students work for a few days within the workplace but also go to college. This means the student gains qualifications as well as that all valuable workplace experience and an apprenticeship means the students also get paid as a working employee.

A big thank you to Mr Mahmood for giving up his valuable time to come and speak to some of our students at Hodge Hill College and we look forward to welcoming him back alongside other success stories from the school.


Prince's Trust Enterprise Challenge

35 Year 9 students participated in the first stage of the Prince Trust Enterprise Challenge. The students were divided into seven teams and worked with their mentors to play a business simulation game based on the concept of a pop-up shop. Pupils had the opportunity to use this concept to run a brand new micro-business. In this activity, the students got to choose their merchandise, they had to decide on the selling prices, the best location to set up their pop-up shop and decide on ways of attracting customers through building hype.

Points were awarded for getting sales and making the most profit. The students had to ensure that in their decision making, their business was sustainable, uphold ethical values and theircustomers’ needs were given special consideration and could be used to build the most hype.

The pupils’ feedback about the event was very positive. They were very engaged and thoroughly enjoyed the activities provided throughout the five one-hour sessions. The pupils work with their teams and mentors to confidently develop and pitch their business idea and used all the ideas gained from the online business simulation game and all they learnt about starting an enterprise.

They teams with the highest game scores are now eagerly waiting to hear if they have made it through to stage two where they will compete in the regional and national finals.


Motivational Speaker Cameron Parker Visits Hodge Hill College

Year 11 were lucky enough to be visited by renowned motivational speaker; Cameron Parker.

Mr Parker spoke about several things during his hour long talk including the difficulties he faced during his early years, such as, his parents getting divorced and the detrimental impact this had upon his studies and subsequently his GCSE grades as well as his plans for post-16 study.

Due to the similar age this occurred to him and our own age, this had a heavy impact upon us but more motivating and uplifting was his story of hard work and resilience to positively turn his life around. He is now at the stage in life where he owns two successful businesses and shown to us the benefits of a never give up attitude. When I spoke to Mr Parker, he was full of praise for us students calling us the ‘best he had ever worked with’ in the four years that he had been coming to Hodge Hill.




Skills Show for Year 11s

Selected group of Year 11 students had the amazing opportunity to visit the World Skills Show taking place at the NEC. This gave them the chance to experience the UK’s largest skills, apprenticeship and careers event.

The show allows the pupils to explore different sectors and expand their knowledge about careers they may not have previously considered. It also encouraged them to have a go at some of the skills on offer. During this event the NEC is extremely busy and our pupils ensured that they experienced the numerous avenues available to them.

We hope that the day played a fundamental part in helping the pupils become more confident about the choices they will make for life after Hodge Hill. All of the pupils came out of the event positively buzzing about the amount of information and the advice on offer with one saying he was going to take his family on the upcoming weekend.


Hodge Hill College Welcomes Back  Mr Chris Bartlett

Hodge Hill College welcomed back Chris Bartlett as a guest speaker to speak to our whole Year 8 cohort. Mr Bartlett is now a Senior Director for the huge global technology firm Adobe (think Photoshop, Acrobat) looking after business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Chris spoke about his route from Hodge Hill College, talking about his love of playing the trombone, running for the Birchfield Harriers, music and Aston Villa FC whilst getting ‘decent’ GCSE grades but not excelling and openly admitting not working as hard as he could have.

Nevertheless, he progressed through further education and went to the University of Kent where he graduated and began working for the Financial Times before moving direction to Microsoft for a number of years and eventually finding himself at Adobe where he has worked himself up to the very senior position he now finds himself in.

Mr Bartlett spoke about the key role that his time at Hodge Hill College played in his fantastic career journey including his inspirational teachers as well as providing some fantastic prizes during his quizzes. He also imparted his survival guide for success in the professional world in six steps;

1) Think about soft skills
2) Find your passion
3) No career is a straight line
4) If you can…travel
5) Build your brand
6) Know where you have strengths

These are all lessons that we can learn a lot from and we thank Chris for giving up time from his hectic schedule to come and inspire our current students and look forward to working with him again in the near future.