Cassons helps students plot their career paths

A group of gifted, able and talented secondary school students have been part of an initiative to discover the different career routes open to them after school and sixth form.

Year 11 pupils from Rhyddings Business and Enterprise School in Oswaldtwistle met with staff from Cassons business advisers LLP, chartered accountants and business advisers in Haslingden for the ‘My Future’ session, which looked at how students can plan and prepare for their careers.

The event, which was organised by Business In The Community, featured a Q&A session with a panel of Cassons’ trainees and qualified chartered accountants about their own career pathways and included questions from the pupils about the value of apprenticeships and degrees, what employers expect from school leavers and the cost of going to university.

Peter Johnson, HR partner at Cassons, who hosted the event, said: “Students think university is the only route open to them, but many who come into careers such as accountancy often start on training contracts or apprenticeships after they have finished their A Levels.

“The ‘My Future’ session is all about making students aware of the range of options available to them and helping them plan for their future, from thinking about how they’re going to finance a university course to deciding whether an apprenticeship might be the best route to achieving their dream career.”

Scarlett Parry joined Cassons as a trainee in the Business Support Unit after deciding university wasn’t right for her: “I wish we’d had an event like this when I was trying to decide what career path to follow.

“I went to university because most of my friends did, but it just wasn’t for me so I left after my first year. Joining Cassons as a trainee gave me the opportunity to start building my career and study to become an accountant at the same time.”

Allanah Gibson, a pupil at Rhyddings Business and Enterprise School said: “It was really interesting to find about the different career paths everyone at Cassons had taken and to learn about all the options available. It’s really made me think about my own plans and I feel like I know a lot more about what’s available.”

Cassons and Rhyddings were introduced through Business in the Community’s ‘Business Class’ programme. The initiative encourages businesses and schools to form long-term strategic partnerships that benefit both students and employers.

Clare Hutchinson, North West regional education manager for Business in the Community said: “Making choices about your future is a daunting prospect for most young people and understanding what university life is like, or whether you would be more suited to a job with training is a difficult decision to make.

“The ‘My Future’ event gave the students a wonderful opportunity to explore their options by hearing about other people’s pathways to success and asking questions in an informal environment”.

Cassons have committed to a three year partnership with Rhyddings Business and Enterprise School. Rhyddings visited Cassons earlier this academic year in a series of employability-themed workshops including payroll, accounts and marketing.

Carmel Cunliffe, business manager at Rhyddings said: “We’d like to thank both Cassons and Business in the Community for organising the ‘My Future’ session. It really does give our students a fantastic opportunity to consider the options available to them. I can’t emphasise enough how valuable this kind of activity is for young people at this stage in their education.”