Careers Information

Parents and Carers

Students at Thorns are entitled to receive high quality Careers Education, Information and Guidance.

Thorns Collegiate Academy offers information that supports students in their choice of career and creates opportunities to experience many aspects of the world of work.

Education is about preparing our students for the world of work and at Thorns we aim to provide a comprehensive planned programme of careers education for all students in Years 7-11 and information, advice and guidance in partnership with the local authority and external providers/professionals. We are committed to ensuring our students leave Year 11 with the knowledge, skills and understanding to make informed and realistic decisions that have high aspirations.

Thorns follows the government’s new Careers Strategy (published January 2018) and aims to meet the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks by the end of 2020 as per the guidance. Thorns is part of the Black Country Careers Hub and in this capacity we complete a regular Compass Audit tool to evaluate our impact. We work alongside the CEC to deliver quality careers education

We have a comprehensive careers education programme delivered in the Beliefs and Values curriculum for an hour a week. We also deliver Careers education through Focus Days through and we aim to have a wide range of delivery at these events. Students have the opportunity to:

  • Take part in post 16 events with local colleges and apprenticeship providers.
  • Guess the jobs of local employers.
  • Work with graduates to find out what university is like and how it prepares for the world of work.
  • Take part in enterprise activities with local business support.
  • Complete an in depth study of a local business in Business Studies.

As well as these events, form tutors and Mrs Mackay, Careers Lead, support students in their college/apprenticeships applications. 
Mrs Mackay is available to answer queries in this area: or telephone 01384 987 973. 

The careers information provided will be reviewed in December 2024.

Thorns Collegiate Academy is committed to providing its students with a varied programme of careers education and guidance activities to equip and enable them to make informed decisions and choices.

The programme of careers education aims to help students develop, identify and add to their employability skills throughout their school life. It also contributes to the Academy’s key values in ensuring excellence and raising aspirations, whilst enabling students to acquire social and vocational skills. Importantly, it seeks to help students understand and be prepared for the ever changing and challenging work environment.

We want our students to:

  • Successfully enter Employment, Education or Training (EET) at the appropriate level, after leaving Thorns Collegiate Academy.
  • Have knowledge and understanding of current Careers opportunities available to them as an individual.
  • Be aware of the current, relevant labour market information.
  • Raise aspirations, exploring career option and inviting knowledge of the world of work.
  • Develop their Careers Knowledge.

Students will:

  • Receive careers education, information, advice and guidance which meets professional standards of practice and is person-centred, impartial and confidential
  • Have an integrated experience and see careers across the curriculum based on a partnership with teachers, students and their parents or carers
  • Have careers education that promotes equality of opportunity, inclusion and anti-racism
  • Have careers education that complies with the disability and discrimination acts, celebrates diversity and challenges stereotypes including LBGT.

Aims and Objectives


  • Providing independent advice and guidance to year 7 to 11 students and access to impartial information regarding options and alternatives available based on the needs of each COHORT; i.e. subject selection, qualification selection, career choices, pathways, etc.
  • 100% of students to have had the opportunity of an Options Interview (either with their form tutor, HoY, senior member of staff or Careers Advisor) in year 9
  • Targeted support for identified vulnerable pupils in Year 11 to discuss their post 16 options

In practice, the programme will focus on the following:

  • Creating awareness regarding the alternatives available in education, training and professionally
  • Working towards providing all students with personalised careers support form an impartial careers adviser
  • Provision and information of opportunities for work experience, traineeships and job vacancies based on individual interests in the process of promoting the understanding and the experiences of the world of work
  • Creating links with employers and organisations for better prospects for students
  • The school and the careers department will develop a Careers Library and Resource Centre. As well as a Careers portal for parents and students to access.

The Academy is committed to follow the government’s new Careers Strategy (published January 2018) and aim meet the 8 Gatsby Benchmarks by the end of 2020 as per the guidance. We will use the Compass Audit tool to evaluate our Careers impact and measure our progress against the Gatsby Benchmarks and use Tracker to improve the quality of provision. The Academy has become part of the Black Country Careers Hub and will work alongside The CEC to deliver a high quality careers education for all students.

The Careers Education programme will be designed and organised by Careers Lead. All staff contribute to careers education, information, advice and guidance through their roles as form tutors and subject teachers. Specialist sessions are delivered by external providers and staff with a careers focus during Beliefs and Values sessions and Focus days.

The Careers programme is designed to meet the needs of all the students at Thorns Collegiate Academy. It is differentiated and personalised to ensure progression through activities which are appropriate to each student’s stages of career learning, planning and development.

All guidance is impartial, the Careers Lead is working towards the qualification and impartial careers advisers with a Level 6 qualification from local colleges are used when appropriate. All careers work is overseen by a designated member of the Leadership Team.

Careers education will be delivered during designated focus days when the timetable will collapse across the entire year group and regularly during form time throughout the academic year for each year group.

See focus day and form time mapping attached

Links are being constantly maintained and developed further with:

  • Local colleges
  • Traineeships
  • Apprenticeships
  • Dudley EBP
  • Black Country Consortium
  • DWP
  • STEM
  • Connexions
  • The Armed Forces
  • University of Wolverhampton
  • NHS Trust
  • Enterprise advisers

Careers Education 2023-2024.

  • Careers education to be embedded in the curriculum for personal and social education, practical and vocational skills, learning about themselves, others and the wider community (year 7 to year 11)
  • Linking focus days to careers themes with entire days structured around it
  • At least 95% of students to have developed a CV and Cover Letter by the end of year 10
  • Launch the “Careers & Enterprise” portal
  • Uploading resources to be used during form time for each year group
  • Developing students’ research skills so that they can make good use of the information they gain
  • Involving local businesses and community groups in the career development of the students
  • Organising visits to work shops, Careers related shows and conferences for students to raise aspirations and their Careers knowledge and awareness


  • Programme of Careers education topics cover:
  • Employability skills and preparation for work
  • Options at Year 9
  • Enterprise activities
  • Introducing Higher education
  • Progression options post 16
  • Apprenticeships
  • Further education
  • CV preparation and completing application forms

Labour market information can be everything from overwhelming and confusing in-depth statistics to hearing about a potential employer starting up near where you live. Learning how to use it can help young people to make informed decisions about their future study and career choices. Labour market information tells you about what is happening in the job market at national, regional and local levels and includes information about jobs and salaries, what skills employers are looking for in different industrial sectors, conditions, communities and future trends.

Labour Market Information for Dudley (used by kind permission of Black Country Skills Factory)

A Guide To The West Midlands Labour Market

Labour Market Profile (Office of National Statistics)

The National Careers Service Job Profiles contain information about the types of jobs available in different areas, which industries are growing, which need staff to replace those leaving and the skills which these employers will be looking for. The National Careers Service Job Profiles contain information on the skills and qualifications required for over 750 jobs. You can also find out about the work involved, salaries you and career prospects. Click here to view.

As part of our wider careers programme we are always looking for professionals/past students to work with us. Are you able to act as a mock interviewer? An inspirational Mentor? Can you offer careers talks? If you would like to be involved in the rich pool of local talent we are assembling, please contact Mrs O’Gorman who will be keen to discuss opportunities for you to join our programme.

Careers and Higher Education Information / Advice and Guidance online / Resources / All useful links:

Dudley Connexions
A-Z of Apprenticeships
Success at Schools
PwC’s Employability Skills Toolkit

Thinking about an apprenticeship?

Local public service apprenticeships – register. add an alert for “Apprentice” within 10 miles radius of your postcode.
AmazingApprenticeships: more information about the world of work
Government Apprenticeships Guide: This is a link to all apprenticeships in the country and is live for Year 11 now (make sure you search for 2022 in the date)

Career events offer students the chance to learn general information about a variety of industries. College and career readiness is highly valued at Thorns, and through our career events we aim to provide students with as many experiences, and as much knowledge, necessary to help them make educated decisions about their futures. Here are a selection of images taken at recent Career Events and Focus Days.



We are pleased to announce a new partnership with InvestIn Education who provide tailored and aspirational work experience placements for young people.

Thorns students are entitled to a discount on the courses and opportunities that they provide.

Year 10 and 11 should click here to see if anything on the site is of interest.

Click here to view/download a Resource Pack sent to us from our colleagues at Birmingham Hippodrome Education Network, which collates a selection of interviews from a range of industry professionals.

We are committed to the monitoring and evaluation of the Careers provision for our students.

The main methods used in monitoring the careers programme include:

  • Learning walks
  • Student voice through Student Council
  • Feedback from external visitors
  • Career focus day evaluations
  • Contribution to the Whole School RAP

The careers provision at Thorns has both short-term and long-term goals. We are committed to supporting and inspiring our students to make the right career choice and keeping them updated with the ever-changing labour market.
In addition to evidence gained from learning walks, the main methods of evaluation include:

  • Examination attainment at Key Stage 4
  • Reduction in NEET at Key Stage 4
  • Destination data at Key Stage 4

View the Thorns Collegiate Academy Enterprise Plan.