Virtual Work Experience and Employer Engagement

Benchmarks 5 and 6

With the limitations placed on schools and employers by social distancing requirements the ability for schools to deliver meaningful experiences for students has become much more challenging. This is where virtual encounters can be expected to play a much bigger role in the months ahead.

The latest guidance from the Careers and Enterprise Company suggests that for a virtual encounter to be considered “meaningful”, and therefore counted for Gatsby Benchmark purposes, it should include the following elements:-

  • A classroom activity designed to prepare the students for the encounter. This might include an introduction to the sector/employer, ensuring students understand how to engage with the encounter and what to expect as well as developing questions that students may need answering.
  • The virtual encounter – this should be live and include the opportunity for questions to be asked and answered. You may need to consider how this can be managed and decide if students can ask the questions directly or if they need to be moderated and asked by a member of staff
  • A classroom activity to consolidate the learning

Virtual encounters will also play an increased role in keeping you as careers leaders informed on developments in the careers sector and taking part will count towards your CPD.

As we become aware of opportunities for schools and careers leaders to access virtual encounters they will be forwarded to you through the Blog and e-mails.The following opportunities have recently been notified to us and you may want to investigate them further:-

The NHS are hosting two virtual careers fairs and are eager to meet students across the whole Cambridgeshire &Peterborough region. The events are Nov 3 and 24th and the idea is that the first is targeted towards GCSE students and the second aimed more at college students. Full details can be found here:

Careers at Sea are organising an event for careers leaders to help you better understand these options for your students. If you are interested please go to