Students gear up for career advice

Peter and Deborah with some of the students.
Peter and Deborah with some of the students.
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Two specialists from the world of business have joined together to give students a better chance of securing a good job when they leave school.

Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and business consultant Deborah Thompson, from UXL Life Consultants, in Washington, and careers specialist Peter Boyle, from Bluebean Career Path Consultancy, in Northumberland, have joined forces to design a unique training programme which they are introducing in schools.

They have developed a new programme called “Gear My Career” to support students through their career-planning years starting from year 8 onwards, with a strong focus on developing their strengths and skills and moving them up a ‘gear’ to improve their grades, stay engaged in their studies and improve attainment.

Part of the programme was recently delivered at taster session workshops in Farringdon Community Academy School in Sunderland.

The programme steers students in the best career direction, using an approach that is both person-centred and strategic for each individual.

It also gives educators valuable insights about the talents of their students and an opportunity to adapt their teaching styles if necessary.

Using the analogy of cogwheels working in sequence, the programme uses four key cogs of Talents, Strengths, Skills and Behaviours to improve student performance.

Peter said: “ Students have been learning the most common skills and behaviours and in just two sessions, have identified key skills, talents and strengths and now have a better idea of who they are as a person and what qualities they would bring to a prospective employer.“

Assistant Head Teacher, Jillaine Reay agreed. “The principle of focusing on their own personal strengths has given them greater self confidence and a stepping stone to help them realise their potential, improve their grades and open up new opportunities for the future.”

Deborah added: “What we’ve done with the students is helped them discover their unique talents, understand their differences and unlock the powerful story within each individual.

“We are seeing great results and are confident that huge benefits will come from the programme. Feedback from teachers so far is they are seeing a remarkable gearshift in attitude and we are making a real difference to student’s lives.”

Details about this strengths-based career programme, designed to unlock the potential in each young person, can be found at: