Opportunities Doncaster, whilst keen to continue bringing businesses and young people together for face to face meaningful encounters, also recognises the growing need for virtual delivery. We have carefully considered the options which we would like to make available to your school and students as well as the support we will be putting in place to ensure business volunteers are ready to engage in this way.
Delivering activities virtually means that students can have easy access to businesses which might fall directly out of their geographical area. Through our business links we will be able to arrange encounters with a varied selection of industries. A few examples could include; rail (Unipart, Wabtec), engineering & manufacturing (Polypipe, Eaton’s), creative & digital (Keane Creative, Lightforge Academy)…
Virtual delivery also means that your students could have access to a business which would otherwise be unable to host a visit for health and safety purposes and would allow for a larger cohort to share the experience and learn from industry experts.
Virtual delivery shows the students the world of work in real time. They’re given the opportunity to see people at work, carrying out their daily tasks as the delivery unfolds. They also provide the perfect platform for encouraging question and answer sessions based on what they have just experienced.
Many businesses will already be familiar with virtual ways of working. However, Opportunities Doncaster wants to ensure that businesses are well prepared to effectively deliver these types of activities. Before any virtual delivery takes place the Opportunities Doncaster team will ensure that the business has been fully briefed on the demographic of students which will be taking part, the way in which we have agreed with yourselves that the session will be run, new safeguarding guidelines will be provided and we will work with your school to ensure that the activity is delivered on a platform with which you’re comfortable. Where possible, Opportunities Doncaster will visit the business premises prior to any virtual activity taking place to run through the content and timings of the session and to ensure that the areas which will be seen by the students are suitable. Delivery of virtual activities will also be linked to an existing bank of engaging and informative LMI video’s and supporting resources which can be found on the this is Doncaster page.
We recognise that the world is now a different place due to Covid 19 and so acknowledge the opportunity and the need for different methods of delivering activities for students. Additional planning is needed to safeguard both students and business volunteers if your activities are to be delivered in this way. The Department for Education have released the following safeguarding guidance for schools and colleges following the Covid-19 situation. It is useful for providers to be aware of the content and use to contextualise alternative services.