Career Footsteps at Sandbach High School

In a summer term full of Career Footsteps events, the next school to welcome volunteers from the world of work was Sandbach High School and Sixth Form on 27 of June. This event consisted of four workshops from professionals from several different fields with one thing in common: they have all taken a vocational path to success. The day was designed to inspire the year 12 students to learn more about higher apprenticeships, and to have a grasp on the life skills the volunteers gained as a result of taking a vocational route.


Students learnt about the implications of choosing an apprenticeship route into work, and the lifelong impact it has had on our five volunteers. Among the volunteers who joined us for the day was Catherine McGilligan and Chris Verity from Pearson. Both worked through the Pearson Apprenticeship scheme and told students “apprenticeships will give you a framework for the working world.

In the second and third workshops students got the opportunity to meet two inspiring women who run their own businesses. Sara Braidwood, an NHS employee and devout cyclist with her own company Sara Cycles, shared the importance of the positive outlook and networking skills that she gained from her Business Studies Apprenticeship. Christine Vaughan, an accountant with her own business also, shared the confidence she has gained from her apprenticeship. She also shared that both her children have chosen an apprenticeship route in the world of work; her son now runs his own technical lighting company and can now choose projects that interest him.

The last workshop was led by Mark Wright, he has newly qualified with a higher apprenticeship. He spoke passionately about his role as education Manager and the benefits of his higher apprenticeships.

Students left feeling more informed about alternative pathways in the world of work, and the knowledge that they can succeed whatever their chosen path leads them too, so long as they work hard. Their feedback highlighted the confidence they gained by knowing about vocational pathways:

“I enjoyed the wide range of different people and hearing about their journeys. It gives me hope for the future.”

“I did not know about the variety of apprenticeships, I thought it was just plumbing. I now know there are more options out there.”

Vocational pathways can provide you the same opportunities without the debt.

“I didn’t think about vocational pathways before as I wanted to play it safe.

I feel I know more about vocational routes now than before.

This day was delivered under the Career Footsteps programme, run in partnership with the Edge Foundation, and aims to open students’ eyes to the wide range of routes they can take into the world of work with a focus on vocational and technical paths. Find out more here.

Want to inspire the next generation? Sign up quickly and easily at the top of the page to volunteer just an hour of your time to visit a local school and talk to young people about your career journey. You’ll be amazed how inspiring your story can be.