Across Greater Manchester over 3,500 young people are actively using ‘Start’.

Start is innovative and easy-to-use careers guidance software helping young people make better and more informed choices about their career path. Connected to live labour market information and course data, Start allows users to create a personal profile which generates suitable jobs, qualifications and new destinations to explore. Ideal for schools and colleges, students and parents,

The best thing about Start is it is free to use.

Here are our top 15 schools across Greater Manchester who are avid users. I’m sure they would welcome a conversation with you to share their good practice.

  • Manchester Communications Academy
  • East Manchester Academy
  • The Albion Academy
  • St Ambrose Barlow
  • Ellesmere Park
  • Altrincham Grammar Schools for Girls
  • Woodhey High School
  • St Edmund Arrowsmith
  • Bedford High School
  • Royton and Crompton High School
  • Priestnall High School
  • Westhoughton High School
  • Smithills High School
  • Kearsley High School
  • St Joseph’s High School

Why could Start be a powerful tool for schools, young people, parents and carers? Well, imagine you are in Year 7 with some idea about what career you would like but it’s not really based of anything other than a few things you’ve picked up here and there. Even if you did know you would have no idea about what to study to get there and where you could do that? Wouldn’t it be great to start exploring as many different career pathways as possible as soon and as often as possible? How brilliant would it be in year 9 to have all of that knowledge of the labour market and the courses available before you make choices? As a year 7 and 8 pupil you could have time to check things out, talk to people especially parents and carers as well as employers.

When those pupils get to years 10 and 11 they will be more prepared for their professional guidance interview which allows both the pupil and the guidance professional to crystallise the next steps beyond school. Pupils can carry on using Start throughout their time in school building on their personal profile – the most important aspect of Start is that pupils start to understand themselves, their skills and interests in a major step in understanding what job might suit them.

If that wasn’t enough to get you raring to go, Start also comes with Track. Track helps you analyse the data your pupils are inputting so you can support them develop their talents and build on their strengths. Conversely, you can help pupils build up skills in which they have had little input or development.

Inspiring pupils is vital if we want to connect them into the opportunities on offer across Greater Manchester and beyond. Using Track you can then see which careers your pupils are interested in and then bring in employers to really motivate them. The National Careers Service Inspiration Team can help you with this. This would really help subject leaders connect their subjects to the world of work. This is how Kearsley School in Bolton is using it. Click here to see their case study.

If all the pupils in Greater Manchester already signed up became active users we would have 10,000 young people getting off to a great start in making choices about their future. This means in schools we really need to find ways of building this into the curriculum or use it with tutors. Could it be part of progress days? – let’s be imaginative and see the power behind this effective tool as part of your wider careers provision.

If you would like any further information then either get in touch with a team member or your local authority lead.