A software firm aims revolutionise the way school students access careers advice with a new app that launched on GCSE results day.
The GoCareer app lets school students read reviews about further education courses, which have been left by other students. Creator GeekTalent wants to create an electronic guide where students can get advice on where to study based on peer-to-peer feedback.
In addition to student reviews, the app utilises FE Choices Data – itself compiled from student feedback – to provide an accurate assessment of colleges across the country. Year 10 and 11 students will be able to search for courses, apprenticeships and training options.
The app has been developed in partnership with two education providers: Sunderland College and Castleview School. Students at both institutions have been encouraged to leave feedback and engage with the app as part of the pilot phase, and Sunderland College students even helped to design the app as part of a live project.
Dominic Murphy, managing director of Geek Talent, said: “We set out with a mission to improve careers advice nationally and to help our young people be better informed when making career decisions.
“As the power of technology increases, people turn to it for support with decision-making. However, careers advice and guidance remains something that is offered face-to-face, despite the fact that today’s school leavers are a generation of digital natives.
“Offering an easy-to-access source of credible information about courses on offer and the various education providers offering them, we can ensure that every student finds the right place for them. That’s really powerful.”
Vikkie Morton, assistant principal at Sunderland College, said that the app had the potential to turn school careers advice on its head.
She said: “Students who choose to come to study with us often do so on the basis of strong recommendations from their peer group. GoCareer effectively creates a platform for students to share their experiences with those who may be considering coming to the college, and ultimately, there can be no better judge of Sunderland College and the work of our fantastic team, than those who study here.”
GoCareer will also offer an insight into the skills required to work in different industries. GeekTalent has worked closely with the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) during the pilot phase of the app, to populate the platform with information about working in the automotive sector. The NEAA has helped by providing career profiles, created by real people, to produce a job-DNA capturing the skills that potential new recruits must develop to pursue specific career pathways.
Paul Butler, chief executive of the NEAA, said: “We have seen an increasing focus on STEM in schools, which has been a huge step forward in meeting the skills needs of the automotive sector, but we still must do more to encourage young people to pursue what is a highly-rewarding career choice.
“The GoCareer platform will allow us to reach a huge number of young people and provide them with vital information about the route they can take to a successful career – something that is essential if we want to develop a strong workforce for the future.”