Students from Swindon Academy now have a much better understanding of the wide variety of careers available in the retail sector thanks to The Brunel Centre and their retailers.
A group of 19 students from the North Swindon school attended a Work Inspiration day organised by the shopping centre and the school and were able to meet some of The Brunel’s own staff who work behind the scenes in shopping centre management. The students learnt about how a centre operates and the myriad of functions involved. They were given a tour of the control centre to see first-hand how the centre manages security and shopper safety and spent time with staff understanding the complexities of the accounting and rental systems and the diversity of the marketing work. Centre Administrator, Amy Schvartz, talked to the students about how embarking of an apprenticeship programme helped her start her career at the centre several years ago.
Many of the students, who are all in year 10, had specifically asked to visit The Brunel as they have career interests relating to specific areas within the centre. One student wanted to find out more about child safety and security and a budding tattoo artist wanted to hear more about the retail side of the profession.
Jane Stewart is Deputy General Manager and Marketing Manager of The Brunel and believes that this type of initiative is very important for the retail sector. Jane said: “The retail sector is Britain’s biggest employer and provides 2.8m jobs in the UK. Most people, when asked what a career in retail entails, will say maybe working on a checkout or shelf filling. Whilst many people do work in these roles the retail sector also provides long and progressive careers for thousands of professionals across a myriad of disciplines. It’s important that we inspire young people into wanting to choose a career in retail and educate them as to the variety of jobs available.”
Jane Steenstra, Swindon Academy’s Business, Enterprise and Employability Consultant worked with The Brunel to put together the tailored Work Inspiration visit. Jane Steenstra said: “Our work inspiration programme is designed to build strong partnerships with businesses and to help inspire our students to rewarding future careers and open their eyes to the different types of careers available. The students will benefit tremendously from today’s visit. Opportunities such as this really do make a difference to young people, helping to build their confidence and open their minds to the different opportunities. Young people are not aware of the full range of potential careers available within the different business sectors and this initiative aims to raise their awareness by providing an overview of the range of jobs that exist. This means they are better prepared when they enter the workplace because they will have more realistic expectations, understand what skills are required and be able to make more informed decisions about their study and career choices.”