Build my Future – 2020

Our 2020 got off to a flying start as we looked ahead to the ’20s and what the decade has to offer for our students. On Tuesday 7 January, the Northern Schools Trust’s (NST) two-day Build my Future festival took place, uniting Sixth Form students from the Studio, Life Sciences UTC and North Liverpool Academy in a conversation about future pathways. The festival is a great place to share ideas and gain career inspiration from some of the region’s best businesses and institutions, with Studio students getting a taste of university, the world of work, and any other pathways available to them.

Day one was hosted by the University of Liverpool, and our students were given a guided tour of the state-of-the-art facilities and the university’s brand-new teaching hub. We met with a range of industry experts, including representatives from the medical industries such as Astra Zeneca, Unilever, Medical Mavericks and more, who were on hand to advise students on the best routes into the industry.

Our keynote addresses on the first day came Wirral South MP, Alison McGovern, and the Anfield Wrap’s Neil Atkinson. Alison spoke to the students about learning from failure and how resilience can help them in their future careers; whilst Neil – who hosts the popular football podcast –  explained how changing technologies over the past few years has allowed him to become a highly successful entrepreneur, in a role that he loves.

We took part in motivational sessions, one of which was delivered by Junior from Fix Up – an organisation helping young people to understand the importance of focus and motivation. It gave Studio students the opportunity to think about goal setting and how it can help to achieve great things.

Another key theme to the festival was employability, and our students took part in a skills session which was delivered by the University of Liverpool. They explored several key ideas from behavioural science, one of which was about Nudge Theory – a concept which explores the notion of positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions as ways to influence behaviour and decision making. Representatives from the University of Liverpool talked to our students about the importance of getting a head start with their careers, and that the journey to success needs to start now.

Day two of Build my Future festival was soon upon us and we headed to Preston to visit our friends at UCLAN, where Studio students had the opportunity to see what life is like in a university outside of the city.

During the day, the students split into groups and took part in campus tours, which showed students some of the things they can learn if they choose university as a path for themselves. We also took part in a range of activities whilst on campus which reflect the pathways that we follow at the Studio, amongst them, we learnt about robotics, life drawing, medical interview preparation and much more.

“The students were amazing across the two days of Build my Future,” says NST’s Lyndsay Macaulay.

“They were so committed and passionate about their futures, it was really great to see. We’re in our seventh year of the festival now and we’re so grateful to universities and employers for their continued support and commitment to helping young people to achieve their dreams.

“Build my Future is an incredibly important event – not only for our young people – but for our local area; it helps to ensure that opportunities are available to the right match of talent and skills.”