Teach Portsmouth employment scheme hailed a success one-year after launch

Taster sessions make a return at the Support and Teaching Assistant Jobs Fair

An initiative to increase the number of support staff in Portsmouth's schools has been hailed a success, 12-months after it launched. Taster sessions are designed to help people boost their confidence before applying for a job. 

Schools, academies and organisations who attend a Teach Portsmouth event have the option to host a taster session. This scheme supports event attendees, enabling them to discover more about a specific workplace, before applying for a job. This could see attendees visiting an organisation, having a tour of the facilities, meeting staff and networking. 

Since launching in 2023, the scheme has been responsible for placing 15 people into employment. Other people have also applied directly to an employer or started training with an adult education provider. Sarah Daly, director, children, families and education at Portsmouth City Council said: 

"Teach Portsmouth has been on a mission to encourage more people to consider a career in the classroom. It's fantastic to see these early successes, with people becoming apprentices, teaching assistants and volunteers.

"However, we still need more people to support schools in different ways. If you are new to the profession, looking for a career change or want more information, these events are a great way to understand your options and next steps."

Sarah Daly

Rebecca Hardy, a teaching assistant at Mayfield School, works on a one-to-one basis with a pupil in year four. She attended a Teach Portsmouth event last year and was successful in getting a job.

During university, Rebecca worked part-time in HMV, while studying for a degree. After graduating, she decided to become a store manager with the company, where she worked for 12 years.  Rebecca said:

Rebecca shares her reasons for becoming a teaching assistant at Mayfield School

"I really loved my time at HMV as a store manager. It was a career that spanned over a decade. When a change in circumstances meant I had to leave, I wanted to find a job that worked for me.

"I attended a Teach Portsmouth event where I met a range of schools who had different opportunities on offer. When I spoke to Mayfield School at the event, I knew the job was for me. I have now been at the school since September and love it!" Rebecca Hardy

For those who would like to gain experience and a qualification, an apprenticeship is an option to consider.

Helen Wortsmann signed up to attend a Teach Portsmouth taster session. She has now started a teaching assistant apprenticeship with Thinking Schools Academy Trust.

Before starting the apprenticeship, she volunteered as a parent reader at Moorings Way Infant School. She attended an information event last year where she began her journey into the profession. Helen said:

Helen became an teaching assistant apprentice after attending a Teach Portsmouth event

"I was looking for a new job that fit my family life, as my son had just started school. When I attended the event, I spoke to The Learning Place and enrolled on their free courses that are designed to boost your CV. When an apprenticeship became available, I applied straight away." 

Helen Wortsmann

We have now expanded the breadth of opportunities available at each event to include other support jobs in education and at Portsmouth City Council.

Taster sessions will often include a tour, a chance to meet staff and network with hiring managers. Exhibitors will provide more information about their taster sessions at the event. In most cases, these will be held shortly after the event during the week. 

Start something exciting today!

If you want to grow your confidence and build your experience, sign up to a taster session at the Teach Portsmouth Support and Teaching Assistant Jobs Fair at Portsmouth Central Library (third floor) on Tuesday 23 April from 1:30pm - 3:30pm and 4pm - 6pm for one of two identical sessions.  

Visit the event page to see what schools, academies and council services will be offering attendees the chance to sign up to taster sessions. 

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