An event designed to encourage more looked-after children to consider going to college and university has been held at Bradford College.
The Aspirations evening was organised by the college’s Student Engagement and Outreach Team in partnership with Bradford Council’s Department of Children’s Services.
Children aged from eight to 16 years took part in workshops aimed at getting them to think about their career ambitions and the pathways they could take to achieving their dreams.
Among the topics covered were the opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths), job-hunting tips, information on professionalism and issues around an individual’s social media presence.
The event, which was the first of its kind to be held at the college, was designed to raise aspirations, break down barriers and help young people in care to go on, after school, to further and higher education.
In addition to inspiring the children by showing them the range of academic and vocational courses offered by colleges and universities, the event also sought to empower carers by providing them with knowledge about post-16 education and training options so they can have informed dialogues with the young people in their care when making education and potential career choices.
David Byrom, Head of Service (Through Care and Resources) at Bradford Council said: “The throughcare service is working closely with the virtual school and Bradford College to raise the aspiration for every child in care.
“This event enabled a number of children who are looked after to experience a college environment and to think about their future in a fun way.
“The young people engaged with the workshops and all posted a note with the career they aspire to.
“It’s our commitment now to support the young people to achieve their goals whilst always still having fun. We also had a number of foster carers supporting the young people, they are key to ensuring that our young people thrive.”
Charlotte Cooper-Nairn, Student Engagement and Outreach Manager at Bradford College, said: “Bradford College is committed to making further and higher education accessible for as many people as possible, no matter what their background or circumstances may be.
“The children who attended responded very positively to the activities and we are confident that we have been able to raise their aspirations and help them to build their self-esteem.”