Guest blog from PwC: Supporting schools during COVID-19

 

We caught up with this month’s guest blogger, Laura Carter who is the Social Mobility Senior Associate at PwC to talk us through how they are continuing to support students during the pandemic.

 

Laura Carter, Social Mobility Senior Associate, PwC

11 September 2020

 I work in the Social Mobility team at PwC, leading our schools outreach work in the North of England and Scotland. My role involves engaging with schools and other external stakeholders as well as designing and delivering the PwC schools outreach programme to less privileged secondary school students in order to develop their workplace skills.

 Support for schools

We know that it’s currently an unsettling and uncertain time for everyone, and particularly for young people. So at PwC, we have continued to offer support to school students as well as their teachers. We have a number of online and virtual resources available, all of which can be accessed for free.

1)     Online Toolkit – Choose from a wide selection of lessons that can be used to support learning and development whilst at home. Topics include technology, how to manage money and wellbeing. Explore it  here.

2)     Virtual Classroom – We also launched  PwC’s Virtual Classroom, which is open to all students in Years 10-13. The first cycle of the programme ran from 1st July – 27th July, and we’re really excited to be running a second cycle throughout September. The Virtual Classroom provides students with the opportunity to learn more about PwC and to develop their employability skills using a combination of live and pre-recorded sessions.

3)     Virtual Skills Sessions – We have also been running a number of virtual skills and recruitment sessions over the last few months for students in Years 10-13, in addition to our Virtual Classroom. Sessions have covered a number of topics to support your employability. More events will be running throughout the Autumn and details can be found on our  careers website.

4) Employability Hub – A place where you can find useful virtual tools, including interactive e-learns, to support you in developing key employability skills. There are also resources which provide an insight and some hints and tips into selection/assessment tools that firms like PwC are using. Explore it  here.

 As we were no longer able to run our Year 12 Insight Week work experience programmes in person, we decided to go virtual. We offered all applicants to one of the Insight Week programmes the opportunity to join our first-ever Virtual Insight Week programme, which ran in May. We had over 1000 students sign up and join us for a week of pre-recorded and live sessions, all of which provided the opportunity to learn more about life at PwC.

 Words of Advice

The current situation, is a good opportunity for young people to research different careers and/or develop their skills. So we wanted to share some suggestions on creating positive outcomes during this time, if students did have spare time outside of school or college commitments.

 1)     Students will have been developing skills that are valued by employers – for example, resilience and adaptability. Why not encourage them to spend some time reflecting on these and how they could maximise these skills in the future?

2)     Take some time to think about their future career plans.

  1. a)     What really matters to them?
  2. b)     What are they looking for from their career or from their workplace?
  3. c)     What are their career goals? How are they going to go about achieving them? For example, what qualifications or skills do they need?

3)     Spend some time practicing different aspects of recruitment processes – for example, interview techniques. This will be useful for any job they apply for in the future, both apprenticeships or graduate roles as well as part-time jobs.

 

Access the free online and virtual resources from PwC  below.