Mayor Ben Houchen today (October 17) visited St Michael’s Academy in Billingham to highlight £1.35million of funding to help Tees Valley secondary schools improve their careers support to pupils.
The cash is the latest funding to come from the £3million TeesValleyCareers.com initiative announced by Mayor Houchen in May 2018, which aims to link Tees Valley’s 100,000 young people with more than 1,000 businesses in the region to deliver meaningful engagements and top-quality careers education.
Schools can use the funding to back career-based projects, from taking students on university trips or visits to employers to support work experience.
St Michael’s Academy has received £21,000 over the two years of the fund. All other schools across Tees Valley, including special educational needs and disability (SEND) schools and further education colleges are being awarded cash based on their composition, size and number of students.
During the visit, the Mayor met students, the Academy’s Principal Andrew Ramsey and Maura Regan, CEO of the Carmel Education Trust, which governs the school. They are currently planning their careers strategy, which their allocation will help to deliver.
Mayor Houchen said “We have fantastic teachers in our region, and I know from my wife Rachel how hard they work, but it is critical that we give them the resources they need to provide the best careers education for our students.
“This substantial pot of money that I have announced will allow schools and colleges to provide first-rate career advice, so that our students can be sure of exactly what they need to do to achieve their ambitions.
“In this job I spend a significant amount of my time working to create jobs and attract large businesses to the Tees Valley, but for this to succeed we need local talent to fill these jobs.
“It’s so important that our young people get high quality, meaningful careers advice so that they know what skills they need to develop in order to take advantage of the jobs we’re creating here in the Tees Valley once they leave education.”
Andrew Ramsey said: “We warmly welcome Ben Houchen to the St. Michael’s community and we deeply appreciate the direct funding which has been given to schools to provide our students with guidance and opportunities which will both motivate and positively shape their futures.”
Maura Regan said: “I am delighted to meet with the Mayor today as this crucial careers initiative will greatly assist Carmel Education Trust schools to continue to provide careers opportunities of high quality and distinction. This initiative is vitally important for the aspirational formation of the children we serve as teachers, and for all young people who reside and are educated in the Tees Valley.”