Georgina Cleasby – Senior Co-ordinator Schools Liaison and Transition
Published: 30 Nov 2017 By Nicky Hawkins
Please can you tell me a little bit about your current role in FE?
I am a link between schools and the college. My role covers a wide remit of exciting tasks to support learners’ transition from school to college. These include activities ranging from one-to-one careers guidance through to delivering a group session on Higher Apprenticeships within a school. Transitional support is also a large part of my role in order to ensure learners are confident about starting college. I may organise a tour of the college for groups and individuals, or arrange taster sessions for a prospective learner who could be anxious. I can often be seen at careers events, either at a school or within college. This role gives me the opportunity to work with many external organisations and curriculum teams.
What are your key interests?
I am passionate about careers as well as being committed to supporting learners and both concepts fuse together well. There is an element of Special Educational Needs (SEN) work within my role, as it is important to have an understanding of the challenges these learners face. I have enjoyed learning about the different career theories and applying this to my practice. I find the whole world of careers and labour market intelligence fascinating. I never stop learning; the labour market is forever changing.
What prompted your decision to move into FE?
I was fortunate to secure a job with Careers South West, formerly known as Connexions who provided me with the skills and knowledge to work within in a range of schools. During my 11 years of employment I was able to complete a number of qualifications including a Diploma through the University of the West of England (UWE). In 2010, I sought out a new role at the college, which still enabled me to work with young people to provide training and development opportunities and longer term employment stability. I am also a qualified Vocational Assessor and have therefore been able to utilise my skills and qualifications within Further Education.
How does your current job differ from other roles/experiences you have had?
After completing A levels I worked in the private sector for a well-known car magazine where the values, priorities and targets are completely different.
How do you find the FE sector?
A forever changing landscape, it offers a multitude of options to suit a range of abilities and approaches to learning, and that is great. We are facilitating the pathway into employment, apprenticeships and university. We have to work within the perimeters of funding changes but need to get it right to equip our learners with the skills and qualifications they need.
How has working in FE furthered your career?
Interestingly, it has improved my Maths and English and I have been able to complete a range of qualifications at the college. We should to be role models for our young people and need to understand the academic challenges they face. If I am an advocate of learning, I need to put this into practice.
What do you enjoy most about your job in FE?
The unknown! I thrive on the challenge of being asked to create and deliver something within a school. It enables me to be creative and have a flexible approach to my work. I feel as someone who is an advocate of life-long learning and opportunities, I embrace any learning and training opportunity. It is imperative in this industry to upskill and keep on top of labour market intelligence and changes within academia.
Have you got any advice for anyone interested in a similar career in FE?
There are opportunities to change roles and progress, so it is ideal for people who are flexible, are prepared for change, and want to work within an education and support environment. If your motivation is about making a difference then I recommend it.
What are three reasons you chose to work for your current institution?
The training provided, progression opportunities, and the college is a well-respected large employer within the community.