Despite the pandemic and all the challenges that this has brought to delivery, Rinova’s Pan Out2 Hospitality Careers Cluster Delivery Team has been busy designing a range of virtual activities  adaptable for schools even during these difficult times –  including our “school cooking from home” series of videos delivered by professional chefs and distributed to schools in the Cluster.  Thankfully, just before the current lockdown, Rinova were able to co-ordinate a face-to-face employer pilot at Oak Lodge school with the support of Simon Lee from employers, London Talent.

Oak Lodge school is a SEND provision for students who are deaf and hard of hearing. Many pupils also have associated learning difficulties and health conditions and require BSL and communication support workers to assist with communication in lessons.

The sessions were well received by everyone involved and as a result a number of additional sessions were organised.At the start of the new term, with pupils returning to school after the long summer break, Oak Lodge requested some pre-employability sessions for their year 10-13 students. After agreeing the dates, we worked closely with Claire Henchley, who is the Work Related Coordinator and Employer to decide on the focus of the sessions and design some basic questionnaires for the students.

London Talent representative Simon Lee fed back the following; “The activity was a good way to raise awareness of opportunities and help teachers and students gain relevant knowledge of my sector”

The sessions were well received by students who were keen to show their appreciation – “Thank you for coming to our school and sharing your experiences, it helps me think what is next for me”

Importantly, feedback from the schools would indicate that the Pilot was successful in achieving its main aim in expanding and enhancing careers provision in schools. Oak Lodges Claire Henchley  had this to say about the Pilot activity ; “It was a very useful workshop and reinforced what we actually tell the students, hearing the information from an ‘outsider’ made a greater impact on them”.

We would like to thank Simon Lee and all those at Oak Lodge that helped to make this a success.