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Employer Takeover Day 'the best yet'

UTC Reading's first 'Employer Takeover Day' of 2022 was 'the best yet'!

UTC Reading became a hub of industry on Thursday, January 27, when some 30 employers arrived on site to lead our students through an Employer Takeover Day. It was a fantastic opportunity for all our students and proved to be a huge success!

An ambitious four independent projects were organised for the day, which saw employers work with the students on their presentation and communication skills, CV writing, interviewing skills and creativity.

Year 10 students were split into five groups with each group being allocated a trainer from Talk the Talk, which specialises in delivering oracy skills in schools through engaging, high-quality workshops.

Over the course of the day the students learnt how to speak confidently and persuasively, prepared for speaking and listening assessments, developed tools to structure talks and essays, practised impromptu speaking and were coached in how to express ideas and speak confidently.

Principal Jonathan Nicholls said: "We see such change in students over the course of the day and what is also brilliant is it creates an opportunity for students to connect in a way that they may have not done so far since joining us. The whole year group did brilliantly and the growth in confidence across the day was recognisable."

James Aidoo from Innerscope.

Year 11 students had a menu of employability skills activities throughout the day. Working in four groups, every student was able to work with the incredible James Aidoo from Innerscope who taught them about their 'leadership voice' and how to use this to good effect when communicating, leading, and working with others. James has worked with us on a number of projects and always leaves a sense of positivity among the students.

Another session involved working with our very own Dr Martin Thomas where the students developed the all-important skills required to create a standout CV that employers will want to pick up and read.

Kirsty Thomas delivered a hugely energetic session to the students on metacognition. There has been a lot of talk about this in the education space and this session focused on how the students can use the understanding of metacognition to get the best out of their own brain and how thinking about thinking can help them, not just in their studies but everyday life.

Interview skills.

The fourth session was an interview skills sessions. We were joined by 15 employers from across a variety of sectors. Every year 11 student had the opportunity to have a 1-1 interview on the day with an industry professional. This was an incredible experience to watch. So many valuable skills being developed and learned to ensure they are prepared for those all-important interviews in the not-too-distant future.

Year 12 and 13 had a choice of projects to focus on for the day. We were joined by staff from Cisco both in the building and via video link for a computing focused project. We were also joined by Ben Edmonds, a principal Dyson engineer from Dyson and all round inventor who set an ambitious project focused on innovation in the home.

The challenge for those that picked the Cisco project was: Reflecting on a blend of virtual and in-person education throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, design and present an application to enrich both the in-classroom and at- home collaborative hybrid learning experience.

House of the future.

For those doing the Dyson Innovation project the challenge was: With the backdrop of the sustainable development goals, design a home of the future. Pick a global location, identify your occupants and what they do. Micro scale or macro scale, you choose. Build, model, make, scheme and then 8 minutes to pitch the idea.

Both projects saw students working in small groups of around five people. The energy in these groups, the creativity and the innovation were brilliant and the pitches at the end of the day to the various industry 'dragons' was brilliant.

Principal Jonathan Nicholls said: "UTC Reading has become synonymous with running days like we did on Thursday but think this week’s might well have been the best yet.

"We were somewhat ambitious in our aspiration to run four independent project activities, but this ambition paid off. The team effort across the staff was the best I have ever seen. The energy around the building, student engagement, interaction, and enjoyment were off the chart. Thank you everyone for the part you played. Every bit of it made a difference and helped make the day a huge success."


  • Active Learning
  • Microsoft
  • Cisco
  • University of Reading
  • Network Rail
  • Peter Brett