Paul Riddell gives back to old school

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Paul Riddell recently visited his old school, Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School in Coventry, after being invited back to talk about his career path since leaving. Around 200 Year 9 and 10 – fifth and sixth form students, teachers and career advisors attended to hear Paul, Group Head of HR at Markerstudy, relay his own personal experiences to help students understand how to prepare themselves for the working world.

During his talk, students engaged with Paul as he spoke about academia not being the only route and there were other options out there, including apprenticeships. Over the last three years, Markerstudy has worked with 87 apprentices in its’ award winning scheme ALEX (Apprenticeship Learning Experience) and has provided the next step in their careers by offering many jobs on completion of their qualification. To help students at Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School make the right decision for them, Paul has facilitated a bespoke email address for the students to ask questions either to former/current apprentices or to full time employees in the career disciplines they are interested in. Paul will then put them in touch with the relevant contact at the Group to gives students more insight into what the job involves on a daily basis and tips on how to get into the industry and what its “really” like to work in their chosen career.

Paul comments: “I was thrilled to be invited and as I was standing in front of everyone, the same feelings from 40 years ago suddenly came rushing back! For me, it was important to really engage with the audience and excite them about their future, whether they are thinking of taking the academic route or not. My motto is to think that ‘a career is a journey and not a destination’ and I wanted to instil a confidence that it’s ok to try new things to develop yourself, even if you do make mistakes. We are human, they happen, but the test is how people bounce back from them.”