Work Experience at the Mayor's Office

Last week saw Ahmed visit Marvin Rees’ office for a week of work experience. Read his blog post below.

My name is Ahmed, and I had an astonishing week of work experience in the Mayor of Bristol's Office. I secured this work placement after I told one of 1625 Independent People's (1625ip) staff that I have an interest in Politics and Law.

During my time in the Mayor's Office, I met very nice people. The first day at the office was amazing and the team welcomed me well. Hayley was the first person I met and she gave me all the equipment that I needed, such as a security pass, laptop, and notebook. During this time, I also completed E-learning training on Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion. After that, I attended an apprenticeship talk which gave me the chance to know there is an opportunity to do an apprenticeship in Bristol City Council. Then I met my WEX organizer Usha. We had an informal chat and then we went for lunch. After lunch, I started my daily activities in the office which was the first time I sat in an office and did some work.

During the week, I completed tasks and shadowed the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor. I helped the team with diary management and inbox responses. I then did a news analysis, where I read a couple of local and international newspapers and then made a summary. I also helped the team to update the Mayor's diary. What's more, I spent time in the Labour Party's Office. I met Stephen who took me to the Chamber and explained to me how the councillors work and where the Labour Party and Opposition Parties sit. I also learnt about the history of the council and City Hall.

On Wednesday, I joined the Deputy Mayor Asher Craig for cabinet shadowing. Whilst I was there, I learnt how some of the Cabinet discuss issues and work. Additionally, what was more interesting was the task that they were discussing at that time. It was a program called Going for Gold which is about making Bristol a sustainable food city and a national programme that celebrates and supports communities that are making positive changes to their food system. They not only discussed food, but also, education, homelessness and more. I then met more of the team individually and they explained to me what their roles are such as Advising on Inclusion and Advising on Economics. This was an interesting and good experience. I also spent time with a Youth and community worker. I learnt how they help the Mayor in different parts of the Council, such as economy and policy.

When I shadowed the Mayor, it was an astonishing moment. On Thursday, I shadowed him at a meeting with a business group. I was having the best time - traveling with the mayor to his meeting, sitting next to him and watching the group explain their business to us, and what they're selling. I also watched the Mayor speaking and the staff ask him some questions. It was one of the best highly ranked meetings I've ever been in. During that day, I also shadowed him while he had a meeting with some Somali community organizations. They were discussing about the situation of Mogadishu and youngsters who have been there and came back, may have some mental health issues so, they discussed how will these young people would get enough health support.

All in all, I really enjoyed my placement and liked being here.

I am thanking the Mayor and also his team.

Part of the Bristol WORKS offer is the facilitation of work experience (WEX) placements for young people who attend WORKS schools. In addition to this, we also facilitate placements for a wide range of individuals across the city to ensure there is access to work experience at Bristol City Council. We are determined to provide this opportunity as a stepping stone for people to gain confidence and experience that may help them enter paid employment.

During the placement, we offer a variety of supported opportunities. These include: interview and application advice; a careers meeting and next-steps discussion; an apprenticeships session with the Apprenticeships Manager where there is a platform to discuss live apprenticeship opportunities; a real work challenge which can involve training on social media, writing a blog that may be published on the website, or a task that is directly related to the objectives of the team. In addition, there is provision for the person on placement to undertake relevant E-Learning, providing them with the opportunity to develop their skills and employability for free. Our commitment to WEX means that anyone who completes a work experience placement with us, and then applies for an apprenticeship and meets the essential criteria, is guaranteed an interview.

Across the summer months alone WORKS has facilitated 51 placements and would welcome all future applications. If you, or someone you know, is interested in applying, please email and the team will send you an application form.

Careers and Employability Day at Bristol Met

On Tuesday 18 June, 180 Year 10 students will get to engage in a series of activities to help stimulate ideas about the future and prepare them for the world of work!

As part of the exciting event, students get the opportunity to visit a series of workshops throughout the day. Jam packed with activity, there will be lots of positive engagement and challenge for the expectant students.

The workshops cover activities such as:

  • Mock Interviews where students present themselves in business attire for 30 minutes of interview time and coaching

  • CV Writing where essential skills are shared and groups also work on presentation skills

  • Personal Finance and Tax in conjunction with the Civil Service where there will be sessions focusing upon money management, tax, personal finance and national insurance.

  • Post 16 options where students going into Year 11 will get the opportunity to plan their progression and discuss potential careers

  • An Introduction to apprenticeships led by City of Bristol College

  • Team Building where Young Bristol will focus upon developing relationships


With such a dynamic day ahead, the Year 10 students are bound to leave with lots of questions and plans for their positive transition into Year 11.

Cyber Opportunities Workshop for Education Providers

Young people are growing up in a digital world. The challenges to meet regional and global job demands are huge. How can we excite them to explore digital and cyber career options? Come and find out what activities already exist. Discuss how local employers can inspire your students to reach their potential and future proof their CV.

We’re running a free workshop on Monday 8 July, 9am – 1pm at UWE Bristol involving employers and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to discuss how best we can support your school.

Why you should attend?

  • You will find out what free resources and activities are available

  • You can share and learn best practice from other schools

  • You can discuss how cyber and digital activities in schools can be developed

  • You can ask employers how to get involved in providing practical teacher-led activities

  • You can help shape the future in the region so we can better support young people

Who should attend?

  • SLT members – to help meet Gatsby benchmarks and satisfy Ofsted requirements by developing a curriculum that reflects local career opportunities

  • Computing Curriculum teachers, Tutors and Careers Leads

  • Careers and Enterprise Advisers – who are looking for cyber career opportunities and employer-led encounters

How can you get involved?

Please confirm your attendance by sending an email to Please state who will be attending from your school including their name, position and email address. We look forward to seeing you!

Unlock Cyber represents employers, professional bodies and education providers from the West of England region. We are working collectively, to help create, raise awareness and deliver more cyber opportunities to young people

Dive into Data with ADLIB, Engine Shed and University of Bristol

If you know a school student or University student that’s interested in a career in data then Monday’s workshop, a collaboration between ADLIB, Engine Shed and University of Bristol could be for them.

With opportunities to hear from speakers about pathways and journeys into work, what a career in data entails and how you might access such a career, the workshop is set to offer valuable insights. There will also be a Q&A where students can ask questions to representatives from the industry.

In addition to this, there will be a chance to take part in a hands-on workshop with SETsquared - an organisation working in the field.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn about:

  • The data professionals' main responsibilities

  • What a 'typical day' entails for them as a professional working in data

  • The professional background of the speakers and the career journeys that have lead them to this point

  • What they like most about their jobs and how it goes 'beyond' data

  • Their take on top 3 skills it takes to become a successful professional within their fields

  • Any soft skills that are advantageous to the paths they have taken.

There will be many speakers on the day:

In order to access the workshop you’ll need a fully charged laptop.

This workshop is run by the Jean Golding Institute. If there are any questions please contact: Alternatively, you can sign up here.

Opportunity for Young People to Take Their Place in Bristol’s Creative Scene

Bristol Media, Babbasa, Ujima Radio, Bristol City Council and Cirencester College have joined up to create Visualiser - an apprentice scheme, open to school-leavers and graduates and a realistic alternative to the current work-experience or internships. They guarantee apprentices are paid Living Wage – or a higher rate benchmarked against the industry standard for the Job Description created by the host company.

The scheme is recruiting companies, and by young people their defining talent and ambition, they’ll be connected to the most dynamic creative businesses in the region and be supported in their development by Ujima, Babbasa and Bristol Media, providing the support and coaching to make the best of their pitch.

It’s a pathway for a cohort of 10 talented, diverse people into Bristol’s creative industries, bringing new ideas, insights and learning.

Babbasa BM 190124_IMG_0051.JPG

The scheme will run for a year, in which the young people will work in the host company for 4 days each week, and attend OFSTED-accredited training provided in central Bristol by Cirencester College, who’ve been working with creative employers in the city since 2011, and have over 100 creative apprentices now working in the city.

The Job Description will be aligned with 3 Level 3 Apprenticeship standards:

  • Junior Content Producer – making video, audio and text content for a range of platforms

  • Digital Marketing – essentially, content distribution using text and AV, with analytics and CRM

  • Broadcast Production Assistant – scheduling & documenting production

This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the progressive talent and ambition of young people in the city  - and change the face of Bristol’s creative industries.

The scheme will launch on 14th May 2019. For more details contact:

Poku Osei -

Roger Griffith -

Paul Appleby – or Alli Nicholas –

Mr B and Friends Visit Newsletter Team at Oasis Brightstowe

This week, Oasis Academy Brightstowe welcomed a visit from Creative Agency, Mr B and Friends. Louise Lepic and Rob Lewis attended a newsletter team meeting to offer some creative career insights and feedback on their newsletters so far.

With two newsletters under their belt, the team of budding year 8 writers and designers met with the creative duo to find out more about careers at the agency. Louise and Rob gave the team a run down of their work, their pathways and some of the projects they have worked on, including the rebrand of Bristol City Football Club and sending innovative building materials into space!

The team were able to ask questions about design, campaigns and what their daily working lives are like. They even got invited into their offices to find out more.

With a vast amount of design experience under their belts, the willing volunteers were able to offer some constructive feedback about the newsletters and advice about how to progress their ideas further.

With one more newsletter to go to print this academic year, and some new design ideas, the team are raring to go.

A huge thanks to Mr and B and Friends for offering their time!

Could you be a Catalyst for Change?

Mentoring Available for Young Women in South Bristol.

Catalyse Change CIC - a Bristol-based social enterprise - are running a new mentoring programme, providing six months of support, guidance and mentoring for young women aged 14-19 years, from disadvantaged backgrounds in South Bristol.  This is part of Bristol City Council’s Youth Sector Support Fund, run by Quartet Foundation.


A woman working in the sustainability sector will provide the mentoring over a six-month period to support a young woman to identify and address a current goal, whether it is educational, career-focused, or around personal development and wellbeing. They will also have access to a quarterly workshop to improve understanding of sustainability, how to access the educational & career opportunities available, and how to build a toolkit for wellbeing.  

The mentoring will take place from September 2019 to March 2020.

If you are interested in taking part please contact Traci Lewis at

Training Young People to Become ‘Creative Leaders’

The youth homeless charity, 1625 Independent People, has been running a new training programme for the young people they support.

1625ip learnt that they were supporting young people who expressed an interest in gaining skills and being more involved in media and communications.  In response, they set up a short ‘Creative Leaders’ programme, a chance for young people to learn about different roles in the creative industries and gain some knowledge in this area of work.

Thanks to support from businesses in Bristol - The DAS Group, Zone Digital, Flourish and boomsatsuma - who are each delivering a training session. Without them, this opportunity may not have been possible.

The sessions help young people to clarify their ‘voice’, express passions, values and beliefs, articulate their message, present to a group of people, learn to make a film, understand body language, prepare for media interviews, improve their ability to advocate, strengthen their sense of identity, and tell a story. Importantly, it’s also a great chance for young people to network with professionals in the industry, and find out about their work and pathways too.

Once they have completed the course, the hope is that the young people will feel more confident to explore opportunities - from writing blogs, to taking photos, to doing media interviews, to expressing their views more clearly and much more.

 1625ip aims to run this course again in the future. Opportunities like this really count when trying to support young people with barriers to progress in life.

 Any questions, or to get in touch to volunteer your time, please contact the communications team at

Bristol WORKS Traditional Placement with Marvin Rees and Team

Last week, Amera, a year 10 student from Bristol WORKS Partner School, Oasis Academy Brightstowe, spent a week in the Mayor’s Office gaining valuable work experience.

With a varied timetable of activities, ranging from meetings with Councillors and legal experts to Primary School visits and interviewing Cabinet Members, Amera was able to experience the busy nature of the Mayor’s Office.

As well as Amera’s scheduled activity, she was also able to attend new appointments that occurred throughout the week, allowing her to observe the responsive nature of Marvin Rees and his team.

On Friday, Amera was taken to a meeting about modern slavery with the police and then attended the Bristol Forum Homelessness Event. Here, she listened to speakers and sat in on some small table discussions where she was able to make contributions.

Amera’s commitment and diligence was met with praise, with many people she met commenting on how engaged she was. She even put together a piece of work on housing throughout the week.

Well done, Amera!

We look forward to having more Bristol WORKS Partner School students visiting for work experience soon.


Alun Griffiths Take 'Bridge to Schools' to Knowle DGE

This week, Griffiths Civil Engineering and Construction visited Knowle DGE for another exciting day of learning about construction and engineering.

To engage students in the principles of engineering in an interactive and hands-on way, Griffiths facilitated their 'Bridge to Schools' activity with various groups of students throughout the morning and afternoon.

During each session, two teams of around twelve students spent an hour working together to construct a bridge, a scaled down version of the second severn crossing, that is approximately seventeen metres in length and three metres tall. 


Students used calculation skills, communication skills, teamwork and explored creative ideas to construct the bridge so it could be walked across by their teachers and peers. Griffiths also took along three apprentices, two of whom were from Knowle, to support the build and offer information about their roles.

With around 40 students taking part in the activity it was a great day for all. This is the second time that Griffiths have run this session for Bristol WORKS and we’re hoping to run it at another partner school before the end of the academic year.

A huge thanks to Griffiths for providing Bristol WORKS schools with such great opportunities.


Mentoring and Creative Careers at Bridge Learning Campus

Yesterday, Bridge Learning Campus saw the return of the Learning Mentor sessions with 30 year 10 students.

Thomas Williams of HMRC and Bethan Hellings, a Senior Interior Designer at Stride Treglown, met with the students to discuss their own careers and pathways and offer advice.


The whole of Year 8 and Year 9 were also greeted by Lyndsay Davies of boomsatsuma. Presenting to the students, Lyndsay gave an insight into her education, career path and the potential of creativity in the workplace.

There are more mentoring sessions and assemblies scheduled in for next week. Watch this space for further news.

Knowle DGE Visits Gloucestershire County Cricket Club

This week, a group of students from Bristol WORKS partner school, Knowle DGE, visited The Brightside Ground in Bristol to learn about the variety of jobs available at Gloucestershire County Cricket Club.

The group got a tour of the ground, meeting different employees along the way. The students spoke with the club’s Gym Manager and the Head Chef taking advice on their careers and pathways.

The group also got to see some brilliant views when visiting the top of the Bristol Pavilion and got a rare peak at areas that members of the public rarely get the chance to see – such as the Players Dining Room.

The Knowle DGE students enjoyed the tour and the discussions about many different careers. They even got to see a player in training and asked many questions along the way.


Pete Lamb, who organised the visit from Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, said:

“I would love for the group to come back at some point this summer to see a game of Cricket, and see some of the other jobs in action at the ground.”

A huge thanks to the club for making the trip happen!

Mentoring Continues at Oasis Brightstowe

Bristol WORKS group mentoring sessions have been running at Oasis Academy Brightstowe for six weeks now. With previous mentors from various sectors such as education, music, advertising, HR and sport, Year 11 students have benefited from a wealth of experience and information about their future options.

This week, working with the boys group, it was the turn of Elliot Lamb of boomsatsuma. Elliot’s experience of the creative industries spans filmmaking, web design and event management. Working across all Post-16 courses at boomsatsuma, he is well placed to offer advice and guidance about next steps after GCSEs.

Artleta Andreasik-Paton, a Senior Project Manager at AECOM, spoke to the girls group about construction, stereotypes, and the range of job roles available to women in the industry. She was even able to let the group in on some of the exciting projects she is a part of.

With both groups getting so much out of the sessions, Bristol WORKS is collaborating with Oasis Brightstowe to extend the six week programme.

Watch this space to find out more.

Children in Care Covenant offer

A call out to share with all networks!

The Care Leavers Covenant is a promise made by the private, public and voluntary sectors to provide support for care leavers aged 16-25 to help them to live independently. You can find out more here.

The Covenant is a way of requesting that businesses and people pledge their support for young people who are leaving care. There are a range of requests being asked and you can pledge at a level that is right for you and your company. The requests range from an offer of access to concessionary sports, cultural or leisure activities, specific support with financial guidance, mentoring, work shadowing or work experience placements.

With over 70,000 young people in care in England there is a need for a new approach.  Here is some of the known statistical data about this children in care:

  1. In general about 38% of children in care have more than one placement during a year, while 11% had three or more placements

  2. In 2016, 14% of children in care achieved 5 or more GCSEs graded (A*- C), compared to 58% of children not in care

  3. That same year, 40% of all care leavers, of 19, 20 and 21 years of age, were not in employment, education or training compared to 14% of their peers who weren’t in care

  4. The percentage of children in care gaining entry to University in 2016 was 7%, compared to the University entry of around 40% of their peer group. This figure has not improved since 2006.

  5. 20% of young homeless people have previously been in care

  6. Children in care are four times more likely to have a mental health difficulty, which in many cases is attributed to isolation and loneliness.

If you feel that you can offer some support of young people then start the signup process here

Please take the time to consider if you can make a small offer that will make a big difference to a young person.

South Bristol Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair

Bristol City Council are holding their annual Jobs Fair at Hengrove College on Thursday 28 Feb between 11 and 3pm  Having joined together with Karin Smyth MP this year, they’re expecting to have even more employers attending with a greater emphasis on apprenticeships, too.  The event coincides with Hengrove College’s student recruitment event so attendance will be greater than usual with parents invited, as well.

With Karin Smyth MP planning to attend, the event is set to be a real success! Find out more information below.

Screen Shot 2019-02-04 at 16.35.08.png
Screen Shot 2019-02-04 at 16.35.22.png

On Site Bristol Visits Knowle DGE for Practical Taster Sessions

This week, On Site Bristol visited Knowle DGE to offer an overview of the construction industry, exploration of apprenticeship possibilities, how to search for employers and how to apply to On Site Bristol.

As well as offering these insights to the students, Louise Weller from On Site Bristol, then engaged students in a range of practical activities. Working in groups, they built doors, a plumbing water system and took part in a construction myth buster activity.


The Myth Buster activity encouraged the students to generate discussion and to challenge the stereotypes and perceptions associated with the construction sector. This activity also served to raise awareness of the construction process, the process of project planning, and timescales involved.

A big thanks to On Site Bristol for a thoroughly enjoyed activity.

Mentoring Continues at Bristol WORKS Partner Schools

Group mentoring has continued at both Oasis Academy Brightstowe and Bridge Learning Campus this week.

This week saw volunteer mentors, Polly Wardle, from Bristol City Community Trust, and Mark Curtis from boomsatsuma education visit groups at Oasis Brightstowe. With sessions focusing on advertising and the creative industries, and sports and education, both mentors shared their experiences and offered students the opportunity to ask questions. Polly Wardle even brought along lego and asked the students to build something that related to their futures.

Bridge Learning Campus students were visited by Dan Lacey of Extract Coffee Roasters and Sharon Edwards from Empire Fighting Chance to share their experiences of hospitality and education and sport.

With several sessions yet to be delivered, Year 10 and 11 students have lots more in store.


Career Coach Celebration Welcomes New Coaches for its Second Year

Last night, at City Hall, Career Coach welcomed a new batch of potential coaches to the programme.

Career Coach is a five year coaching programme for children in care - a collaboration between the Cabot Learning Federation, Hope Virtual School and Bristol WORKS. The programme matches volunteer coaches with young people, aged 13 or 14 and looked after by the Local Authority, with inspirational local professionals, based on their interests and preferred ways of learning.

IMG_0205 2.jpg

The programme was piloted last year working with students from Bristol WORKS partner schools, Ashton Park, Orchard School Bristol, City Academy and Merchant’s Academy. The programme also worked with Bristol Metropolitan Academy, the school where Tim Holmes, Career Coach Lead, works as Careers Advisor.

This year, Career Coach will be matching volunteer professionals with a further 15 young people across new schools including Oasis Academy Brightstowe, Knowle DGE, Bridge Learning Campus and Bristol Brunel Academy.

The coaching programme aims to offer some of Bristol’s most vulnerable young people access to knowledge, networks, and support that they might otherwise miss out on. With so many new coaches volunteering to be part of the programme, last night’s celebration launch for year two was fantastic, and demonstrated the keen appetite of inspirational volunteers from across the city.

IMG_0217 2.jpg

Representatives from Cabot Learning Federation, Hope Virtual School and The Employment, Skills and Learning Team at Bristol City Council, as well as Cllr Anna Keen, were all present at the launch and thanked volunteers for their commitment to such an important cause.

To find out more about Career Coach visit Bristol WORKS Career Coach page.

Bristol WORKS Kickstarts 2019 with Group Mentoring Programmes and Creative Assemblies

This week saw the start of two group mentoring programmes at partner schools, Oasis Academy Brightstowe and Bridge Learning Campus.

For the next six weeks, volunteer professionals from a range of sectors will be visiting KS4 students during tutor time to offer insights into their career choices and pathways. The programme aims to challenge some preconceived ideas about gender specific roles. Both schools have highlighted the need for more knowledge and understanding of the variety of job opportunities available to young people, regardless of gender.

On Wednesday, Dan Lacey, who leads on Projects and Developments at Extract Coffee Roasters, visited Oasis Academy Brightstowe to speak to a group of Year 11 boys about their futures. Sharing his experiences of hospitality and the doors it has opened for him, the students also had an opportunity to ask questions and learn about pathways. Lyndsay Davies, Creative Projects Manager, at boomsatsuma ran the same session with the girls offering up her experiences of TV Production and Engagement.


Lyndsay also visited Bridge Learning Campus on Thursday accompanied by Elliot Lamb, also of boomsatsuma. Both mentors offered interesting insights into the creative sector and possible ways to access some of the diverse roles available.

The programme is set to continue next week with a different set of volunteer professionals from sport and youth engagement.

Thursday also saw Juliette Russell, a freelance Editor and Producer, visit Oasis Brightstowe to present to Year 8 about the creative sector. With GCSE option choices coming up in March, the assembly aimed to offer better understanding of the opportunities available in Bristol and variety of roles and experiences open to young creatives.

With these assemblies set to continue at both schools, there’s much more in store!