I must admit that I find children and young people the worst audience to present to. They scare me stiff and as Graham and I walked into the main hall at Farringdon Community Academy I began to wonder what we had let ourselves in for. There were at least one hindered and fifty of them, perhaps as many as two hundred sat neatly and quietly in front of the stage.
Graham and I were there for a building my skills careers session, a programme that was developed and supported by Dynamo North East. Thankfully Graham had it all prepared and my job was to come in from time to time with the odd pearl of wisdom. I could do that.
Once we got underway, with a few technical difficulties aside, it all went rather well. We talked about the kinds of jobs that are available now and how most of them (perhaps with the exception of a lumberjack) relied upon technology. I imagine that even tree cutting machines use GPS these days though.
We talked about the kinds of skills that are needed to fill these roles, how the technology industry is a broad church and needs all types of people to work in it and what the young people could do to get themselves ready and stand out from the crowd.
We told the audience how we had arrived at the jobs we have. Graham started with a geography degree and mine was in zoology. When I was at college though I’m not sure that ICT had been invented.
We talked about their personal brand and how what they put online can give the wrong and right impression to future employees. It is something that people don’t always think about.
We finished off by focussing on staying safe online and not posting anything that your granny wouldn’t be happy with. It was all over very quickly and I think it was appreciated by the teaching team and hopefully the students. Hopefully more of them will be thinking about getting into our industry.
I’m still find children and young people a difficult audience though. I don’t know how teachers do it.