Chesterfield careers

Made in Chesterfield praised by businesses, schools and pupils

An impact report has revealed that nearly 200 students from North East Derbyshire’s schools got a hands-on taste of manufacturing and engineering careers during the Made in Chesterfield festival in November last year.

Businesses, teachers and pupils have all praised the Made in Chesterfield initiative.

Nick McGowan, assistant headteacher a teacher at Whittington Green School which visited Woodhead Construction’s enterprise centre site, said: “We’ve been teaching construction in the school for the last 15 years and one thing we have always struggled with is access to site so the visit was absolutely brilliant. The visit opened the student’s horizons to the jobs and opportunities within the construction sector.”

In a review of the month-long annual festival undertaken by Direct Education Business Partnership (DEBP) which coordinated Made in Chesterfield in conjunction with Destination Chesterfield, it also found that there was no demand for virtual school visits, indicating that schools are keen to re-engage face-to-face with the business community despite the pandemic.

Ivan Fomin, Managing Director of MSE Hiller and Destination Chesterfield’s board member responsible for manufacturing and engineering in the borough, said: “The uptake of the physical workplace tours by schools for Made in Chesterfield was very encouraging given the current climate of uncertainty. There is a very real appetite amongst schools to give young people the widest exposure to careers and job opportunities.”

He added: “It is so important that we highlight the local career and job opportunities to young people as they are an intrinsic part of Chesterfield’s growth ambitions.”

Virtual workplace tours were launched last year amidst the pandemic, however with Covid restrictions eased physical workplace tours were reintroduced for 2021.

Pupils from Whittington Green School, Springwell Community College, St Mary’s Catholic High School, The Bolsover School, Shirebrook Academy and Heritage Academy all took part in visits to local engineering and manufacturing businesses, including Aztec Oils, Woodhead Construction, CBE+, Penny Hydraulics, Superior Wellness, Morgan Sindall, Weightron Bilanciai, MSE Hiller and United Cast Bar.

Carol Claydon, Head of HR at Superior Wellness which hosted students from Springwell Community College, said: “The tour organised by Made in Chesterfield was a fantastic opportunity for our business. Our team members thoroughly enjoyed explaining more about the business, their roles and their work experience to the students. It was brilliant to see how inspired the students were and I think it opened their eyes to the various career opportunities within the local area.

“The campaign is a fantastic way to inspire the next generation and hopefully showcase the different sectors and opportunities available within the town of Chesterfield.”

Ben Jones, Project Manager at Weightron Bilanciai which hosted students from Bolsover School added: “Hopefully we have inspired young people to be interested in what they want to do as a career so they can start thinking ahead now to what they should be studying and also whether they want to go to university or follow the apprenticeship route.”

Charlie Goodwin, Projects Officer at DEBP who compiled the report commented: “We are so grateful to the many businesses who got involved with Made in Chesterfield and worked with us to make it a success in 2021. We appreciate that everyone continues to experience challenging times, however the feedback from those who participated has demonstrated the value in providing meaningful insights into the working world and the role this initiative has in inspiring future employees.”

Launched originally in 2013, the annual Made in Chesterfield campaign, has since introduced thousands of young people across North East Derbyshire to the possibility of a career in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) sector.

The hands-on campaign aims to bridge the careers information gap between education and industry by giving schools and pupils access to workplace tours, a range of careers videos and the MyFuture virtual careers fair.

Made in Chesterfield 2021 was made possible thanks to funding and support from The Chesterfield College Group, Chesterfield Borough Council, D2N2 LEP and Careers and Enterprise Company, Derbyshire North Career Hub, MSE Hiller, United Cast Bar Ltd and NatWest.

Emily Carter, Operational Careers Hub Lead at D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership added: “We are ever grateful to our cornerstone employers and local business partners for supporting opportunities such as the Made in Chesterfield open doors programmes, supporting young people’s career awareness and aspirations, again this year despite the challenges still faced by industry.

“D2N2 Careers Hub is excited to fund the expansion of this successful model to bring more open doors programmes to young people across the wider D2N2 region during the rest of the 2021-22 academic year.”

Julie Richards, Principal and Chief Executive of the Chesterfield College Group said: “I am delighted to hear that once again the Made in Chesterfield initiative has been a great success. We are proud to support the programme of activities which take place to connect the future workforce with local employers. It is very encouraging to hear how so many schools and employers benefited. It is critical we excite and educate the next generation to understand the fantastic career opportunities for engineering and manufacturing in Chesterfield to build the workforce for the future and secure local economic growth.”

A number of the businesses involved in the Made in Chesterfield campaign are keen to continue to work with schools throughout the year. If your school would like to arrange a workplace visit, please contact DEBP on 01246 212 535.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , , , ,

Pupils visit Superior Wellness as part of Made in Chesterfield tours

A group of eight students and two teachers from Springwell Community College visited the Chesterfield-based Superior Wellness headquarters as part of the Made in Chesterfield project.

Made in Chesterfield is a celebration of the manufacturing, engineering, science and technology industries and careers in the town. The campaign looks to inspire the next generation to the industry, with businesses, schools and training providers coming together to showcase the sector.

Made in Chesterfield is coordinated by Destination Chesterfield and Direct Education Business Partnership and delivered in association with the Chesterfield College Group and with support from Chesterfield Borough CouncilNorth Derbyshire Careers Hub, MSE Hiller, United Cast Bar Ltd, and Natwest.

As part of the project, Superior Wellness offered the students a tour of the office and warehouse space, with a brief introduction from each department. A representative from each department, including those studying for an apprenticeship, explained their role and the projects they work on.

While visiting Superior Wellness, the students were offered the opportunity to look at one of the many hot tubs Superior Wellness distribute globally and ask any questions regarding the products and the business.

Carol Claydon, Head of HR at Superior Wellness, said: “The tour organised by Made in Chesterfield was a fantastic opportunity for our business. Our team members thoroughly enjoyed explaining more about the business, their roles and their work experience to the students. It was brilliant to see how inspired the students were and I think it opened their eyes to the various career opportunities available within the local area.

“The campaign is a fantastic way to inspire the next generation and hopefully showcase the different sectors and opportunities available within the local town of Chesterfield.”

More than 170 pupils from seven different schools across the Chesterfield have been benefitting from tours at several businesses across the town, including Aztec Oils, Woodhead Construction, Vistry Partnerships, CBE+, Penny Hydraulics, Superior Wellness, Morgan Sindall, Weightron Bilanciai and MSE Hiller.

Superior Wellness supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Home, Made in ChesterfieldTagged in , , , , , ,

MyFuture careers platform re-launched for 2021 Chesterfield and North Derbyshire school leavers

Following a hugely successful lockdown launch, the innovative employability and careers platform MyFuture, is here to stay for another year.

Developed by Chesterfield Borough Council, in partnership with Destination Chesterfield and the D2N2 LEP the My Future platform was dreamt up during lockdown when Year 11 and 13 young people were unable to access face-to-face careers information.

The platform, however, has been so successful, with thousands of young people in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire using it to find careers advice and apprenticeships, that funding has been extended for a further 12 months helping bridge the gap ahead of large scale in-person careers events returning. Derbyshire County Council is also supporting the relaunch of the MyFuture platform.

Over the last 12 months, more than 4,000 young people, teachers and parents have accessed the platform.

Peter Swallow, Chair of Destination Chesterfield explained: “MyFuture has been immensely popular since its launch. We were all very keen for it to continue beyond lockdown being lifted and I am delighted that the partners were able to provide funding to enable this. Together we are helping create a strong, skilled workforce which will support the continued inward investment in the town as well as ensure young people gain the best advice and support for their future career development in these challenging times.”

The funding has enabled a refresh of the MyFuture platform by Chesterfield-based creator and designer Oasis Studio. New features within the virtual careers fair include improved search functionality, easier navigation within the exhibition hall, TV screens within the pods which play live videos and immersive sound allowing the user to feel like they are actually attending a live careers fair.

New pods have also been added to MyFuture, including The Tickled Trout, Acorn Training, Edwards Employment Solutions, Superior Wellness, Staveley Town Deal and NLT Training Services. With around 100 pods on the platform, including one featuring The National Careers Service, MyFuture offers young people in the area unparalleled access to careers information.

The pods are set across 11 zones in the virtual careers fair, providing a wealth of information about different sectors, industries, individual businesses, apprentice positions and further education options available across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Councillor Amanda Serjeant, deputy leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “We originally launched MyFuture with our partners to ensure there was good quality careers advice available during the pandemic and we have seen fantastic levels of engagement. It’s proved to be such a successful support tool that we are keeping it in place and making it even better than before. There are new organisations featured on the platform and new features which mean it is more interactive and engaging. I’d encourage any young person thinking about their next steps to take a look at MyFuture for local opportunities and inspiration.”

Will Morlidge, Interim Chief Executive at D2N2 said: “Using innovative technology like MyFuture helps to raise aspirations for young people by bringing to life the opportunities available to them. It’s great to see this resource continuing and developing as bringing together the worlds of work and education is a vital part of our strategy to lead our region’s recovery from the impact of Covid-19.”

Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education Councillor Alex Dale added: “We are delighted to support the relaunch of MyFuture. The website is a great place for young people to explore different career opportunities, get advice and search for local opportunities including apprenticeships and further education courses.”

Young people, teachers and parents who now want to learn about the many opportunities available to future school leavers, can visit MyFuture at www.myfuture.org.uk.

Employers who wish to have their business featured on the MyFuture platform should contact Emily Williams at Emily.williams@chesterfield.gov.uk

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Featured, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , ,

Weightron expands its growing team with the hiring of a new apprentice

Chesterfield-based manufacturing and engineering firm, Weightron Bilanciai has announced a further addition to the firm’s apprenticeship programme with the hiring of a new Fabricator Welder.

As there is a generational skills gap appearing, Weightron has taken the decision to expand its scope of apprenticeships into the manufacturing section of its business, providing future skilled workers for its expanding business operation.

The latest recruit to the company, 19-year-old Kai Pollard, said: “Before I joined Weightron I studied Henry Fanshaw School in Dronfield. Outside from my job I have a real passion for Mountain Biking and Hip-Hop music.

“I chose to go down the apprenticeship route as I really enjoy fabricating steel products and seeing the transition of raw materials into a finished product that can be utilized in real life scenarios.

Weightron Bilanciai are providing me with training, support, and skills I require to undertake the challenge of becoming a qualified fabricator. The reason I choose to join Weightron was the scope to work on, and learn to understand large scale fabrication, broadening my horizons in the field of fabrication.

Kai also had a message for other young people in the area wondering what their next steps are with regards to their future careers: “I would highly recommend doing an apprenticeship to any young person searching for a job.

“I love the hands-on approach that my apprenticeship is giving me, Weightron are providing me an environment where I can learn and obtain formal qualifications whilst earning and gaining vital life experiences.”

You can find out more about Chesterfield’s innovative skills and employability offer, and find out about the wide range of career opportunities available in the town by heading over to our My Future and Apprentice Town pages.

Weightron Bilanciai supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in About ChesterfieldTagged in , , , , , , , , ,

Get on the ladder and build a career in Property and Construction

Are you looking to get on the career ladder? The Property and Construction sector is a great place to build your career. This sector currently employs around 2,600 people locally, with the share of employment broadly in line with the national average.

Currently there is a growing number of active housing sites in Chesterfield and these will drive construction growth alongside the development of new commercial sites such as Chesterfield Waterside and Staveley Corridor. You can learn more about this specific sector on the My Future careers platform.

There are many benefits to taking an apprenticeship as a career route, especially in the Property and Construction sector.

Growing number of apprenticeship vacancies

There is a growing number of apprenticeship vacancies becoming available as the sector expands.

Andy Dabbs, Architect and Board Director at Chesterfield-based Whittam Cox Architects explains: “The importance of apprenticeship programmes cannot be underestimated, particularly in the post-Brexit environment and the associated skills gap that is challenging so many businesses. Not only can these programmes provide individuals with the required skills for work but they are also more accessible, providing a platform that may otherwise not be available to so many talented candidates.

Right now the construction industry is seeing a period of growth and given the impact of the last 18 months this is a fantastic place to be. What we cannot now afford is for that growth to be stifled by an inability to attract the required employees, and this is where apprenticeships will no doubt become increasingly important to our sector.”

You can find all current apprenticeship vacancies available in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire here.

Learning on the job

Apprenticeships allow you to learn new skills on the job, whilst also earning a wage.

Andrew Byrne, Property Development Director of Devonshire Property Group, said: “Apprenticeships are, and have been, the life blood of the construction industry for many many years.  They are a great way for people to learn on the job and perfect their skills, whilst reaping the benefits of employment.

We all live, work or play in buildings at some point in our daily lives and being part of creating those spaces is one of the most rewarding feelings there is.  This takes on even more importance as today’s apprentices will be learning the skills that will re-shape those places, where we live and work, making them more environmentally friendly and directly tackling the impacts and in some cases the causes of climate change.”

The Apprentice Perspective

Kieran Cox – Inspire Design and Development Ltd

Why did you choose an apprenticeship in this sector and what do you enjoy about it?

“My course is the Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Construction Contracting Operations and my job title is Apprentice CAD Technician. Often I will be recreating sketched drawings into AutoCAD and mocking up drainage plans under supervision, I chose to work in the Construction industry as I believe it’s an opportunity to show the works you create along the way, this comes as a source of job satisfaction for myself and for others also, seeing developments I have had a hand in be built and work as intended always inspires me to learn further.”

What are the benefits of choosing an apprenticeship as a route to get into the sector?

“I feel that there are many obvious benefits with an apprenticeship, especially in terms of having first-hand experience at the jobs you potentially may work in, and should you not find that specific job is for you, you’re still learning towards other newer opportunities such as civil engineering. Skills developed are transferable as construction is such a broad branch of work, which allows you to shift focus to a line of work not to dissimilar to the last.”

Aaron Wathall – Woodhead Group 

Why did you choose an apprenticeship in this sector and what do you enjoy about it?

“I am currently doing a technical apprenticeship, which involves experiencing different aspects of the business such as site management, project management, quantity surveying and estimating. However I do look at other areas of the business for a month, such as financing, social development of the sector etc. which I experience in the head office.

I chose an apprenticeship in construction because I was brought up around it all my life working with my dad on property development including renovating our bungalow which I did with my brother who is a joiner. I  also studied construction in school so I felt this was the right career path to go down. I enjoy meeting new people and getting knowledge from experienced sub-contractors and people on site. I also enjoy looking at the different build stages and watching certain works take place and finally seeing the completed project.”

What are the benefits of choosing an apprenticeship as a route to get into the sector?

“The benefits of doing an apprenticeship in this sector is you get to experience across lots of different areas of the business and are not fixed to one role. Also, all the knowledge and experience you gain from the apprenticeship can then help you make future career choices knowing what you enjoyed and liked most in the apprenticeship.”

Sam Bartram – Woodhead Group 

Why did you choose an apprenticeship in this sector and what do you enjoy about it?

“I chose a 2 year apprenticeship covering all aspects of the company including site management, project management, quantity surveying, estimating and support services. This allows me to see how people own it, achieve it and improve it – the company values. I chose the apprenticeship within construction due to the fact that I previously worked as a shop fitter and wanted a challenge within a different area of construction. I enjoy the fact that this programme allows us to trial and chose our future career path and I’m looking forward to covering these.”

What are the benefits of choosing an apprenticeship as a route to get into the sector?

“The benefit of an apprenticeship route in my opinion is that you are provided with expert experience and knowledge in the field of construction learning first-hand and then getting the qualifications to back up the internal training plans. This was a key factor for me choosing this route.”

Learn more about apprenticeships from current apprentices in Chesterfield here.

Posted in Apprentice Town, Blog, Made in Chesterfield, Property and ConstructionTagged in , , ,

Men across Chesterfield to be encouraged to consider careers in healthcare

A free event aimed at encouraging men to consider careers in health and social care is set to take place in Chesterfield.

Health and Social Care Needs Men is part of ‘Careers that Care’ week, a series of virtual events organised in partnership with Derbyshire Voluntary Action’s (DVA) Community Chesterfield project, the University of Derby and Joined Up Careers Derbyshire.

The event will see a panel of men who work in health and social care answer questions and discuss what led them to work in the sector, what they get out of it and why there are less men working in certain healthcare professions than women.

The panel will be made up of representatives from the public sector, including a Derbyshire County Council social worker, a 111 senior trainer from DHU Health Care and nurse, as well as voluntary sector workers. These will include Nathan Wood, Chief Executive Officer of the charity Ability, who appeared in a short film made for the event, and a spiritual care practitioner from Ashgate Hospicecare. Questions will be asked by a current nursing student from University of Derby.

Charlotte Repton, project manager at Community Chesterfield, said: “A career in health and social care offers a huge range of career choices, all of which can be hugely rewarding for those who choose to follow that path. Through the Health and Social Care Needs Men event, we wanted to open up the discussion around why, despite this, there is still a higher percentage of women in many healthcare roles, particularly in areas such as nursing.

“The event is set to provide an extremely interesting insight into this topic, directly from men who work in health and social care, as well as giving attendees the opportunity to have their questions or concerns around stepping into a career in health and social care answered.”

This event is open to anyone from Chesterfield and surrounding areas with an interest in health and social care. However, it will be of particular interest to men who may be considering a career in health and social care, parents or teachers who may be offering guidance to a young person making decisions about their future careers and current students who wish to find out about the range of careers their studies could lead them to.

For more information or to book a free place on the Health and Social Care Needs Men event, visit www.careersthatcareweek.org/events.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , , ,

MyFuture careers platform shortlisted for prestigious industry award

An innovative online careers and employability platform, which was launched to Year 11 and 13 school leavers in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire last year, has been shortlisted in the Careers Development Institute (CDI) Awards 2021.

Since its launch, on GCSE results day, the MyFuture platform has helped hundreds of young people gain access to high-quality careers advice, employment support, and skills and educational programmes during the pandemic.

The online platform has been shortlisted in the Innovative and Impactful Employer Engagement category in the annual industry awards which identify and promote excellence in career development. The category is sponsored by the Department for Education (DfE) and CXK, a careers advice charity.

Developed by Chesterfield Borough Council, in partnership with Destination Chesterfield and the D2N2 North Derbyshire Careers Hub, MyFuture plugs the careers information gap left by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The innovative platform, which is believed to be a world first, was designed by Chesterfield-based Oasis Studio. It features around 100 virtual exhibition pods across 10 zones, providing advice on careers, transition, and employment in 16 sectors.

Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Deputy Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “I’m delighted that our My Future project has been recognised in this way. Our team have spearheaded this project as part of our Economic Recovery plans, working closely with our partners to help ensure the My Future online platform provides valuable information on careers and skills development for young people in Chesterfield. We will continue to support and develop this platform and I want to encourage young people to log in because it will help them plan their future in our borough.”

Dom Stevens Destination Chesterfield Manager added: “Everyone worked tremendously hard in a very short timeframe to get MyFuture up and running and it has been incredibly well received by all users. To be recognised by the Careers Development Institute is testimony to the strong partnerships that exist in Chesterfield that together make positive changes happen for everyone who lives, works and does business here.”

D2N2 North Derbyshire Careers Hub Lead Dan Heffernan said: “Connecting young people to their future careers becomes an even higher priority during economic crisis as younger workers are at much higher risk of becoming casualties of recession. We are therefore delighted that this project has been recognised by the CDI for the value that it brings to young people across North Derbyshire. It is our hope that any publicity generated by this recognition will encourage further collaborative efforts not just in D2N2 but nationally. Only by working together are we going to weather the economic storm generated by the Covid-19 Pandemic.”

MyFuture is shortlisted alongside Creative Careers Programme and Discover! Creative Careers Week, Creative and Cultural Skills and Whole School Career Day 5th March 2020, Huntcliff School, Gainsborough. The winner of the category will be announced next month on Wednesday 10 March.

MyFuture is one of two North Derbyshire projects to be shortlisted in this year’s Careers Development Institute Awards. Derbyshire Education Business Partnership (DEBP) has also been shortlisted for the Best Practice Award – Careers Programme in a Special School or College category for its Project SEARCH.

To view MyFuture please visit www.myfuture.org.uk

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Celebrate Chesterfield, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , , , ,

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