Pupils at a Derby school have been looking to the future as they learn more about the world of work.

Murray Park Community School, in Mickleover, welcomed professionals from across Derbyshire and beyond to share with Year 9 pupils more about what they do and the qualifications needed.

This is ahead of them deciding what subjects they want to continue alongside English, maths and science for their GCSEs.

Tim Taylor, Murray Park’s aspirations careers employability coordinator, (centre) with employers who attended the event

Businesses included Lubrizol, Leonardo Hotels, Careers at Sea, the fire and ambulance service, NHS, Toyota, Royal Air Force, Severn Trent and Crzybest. The University of Derby also talked to pupils about the Progressions Pathways.

Year 9 pupil Elissa Hurt said: “I was terrified when we started talking about options. Now I know what I’m doing so it was good. I have wanted to go to university since Year 8 and I want to be a paramedic.”

Pupil Melicia Mnisi said: “I think it’s been really good and helpful. I do know what I want to do and these talks have helped me make this decision.

“I want to go to uni and then take on my mum’s healthcare business. I want to finish my studies first and then I can go on to do everything else. I want to do business and healthcare at university.”

Jan Woolley, head of careers education, information advice and guidance at Murray Park, said: “These sessions are designed to help Year 9 pupils decide what options to take for their GCSEs as it talks to them about the different qualifications they will need for different careers.

“It has gone really well. They are also having mini-talks and tasters about what is involved in different subjects and then we will have a parents evening so the students and their parents can talk with the members of staff.”

Matthew O’Dare, University of Derby’s widening access graduate intern, said: “Progressions Pathways is about opening their eyes to the different routes they can take through education.

“It allows them to see the different qualifications and different opportunities as they come towards their level 2 studies.”

Those who presented over the two-day event included Marine pilot Ryan Bird, of Careers at Sea, who has spent the last 10 years working at sea and talks about the careers and roles it offers, as well as experiences of traveling the world. 

He talks about the Merchant Navy, size of the ships and the experiences it offers of seeing new places as well as the skills it provides such as navigation and firefighting which are transferable skills that can be brought back to shore.

Mr Bird said: “I think these talks are important to raise awareness of the options available with the Merchant Navy. I’m the only person from my school that has ever done this so I want to make young people more aware of what it can offer them.

“I’ve have travelled a lot for free. A lot of people like to travel and this is a way to do that and not rack up debt.”

Charllotte Greenhough, a chemist who works in science company Lubrizol’s Blend Test Services department, talked about her own career journey from her GCSEs to where she is now.

She said: “It was a really good event. I gave a presentation to students about what we do at Lubrizol and the range of different departments we have. I think it’s important for young people to know that subjects they study at GCSE provide transferrable skills that are valuable to employers. Lubrizol is a science company but there are plenty of other roles available, not necessarily involving science.”

Grahame Clamp, who worked for the fire service for 33 years and ambulance service before he retired, said: “I’m here to give pupils an insight into the emergency services. I think it’s important that students get an idea of the pathway they want to go down.”

Urszula Karpinska, operations manager at Leonardo Hotels, said: “The presentation shows Leonardo Hotels visions and values and what it offers for employees and the benefits of working in hospitality.”

Lauren Adkin, of the Derby and Derbyshire Integrated Care Board, talked about the various roles in the NHS, not just medical but also jobs in areas such as engineering, accounts and other non-patient facing roles.

She said: “We want to make young people aware of the jobs available and think about us. Our needs are forever changing in order to meet the needs of the public. We need to know what young people want out of a career to facilitate that and for them to be aware of the opportunities we have.”

This story was written and shared on behalf of Murray Park by Jenny Moody. Can we share your news and get you in the headlines too? Find out how we can help by getting in touch.