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Careers & Employability

Careers Education Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG)


The CEIAG Department, in close liaison with the Northern Ireland Careers Service (Department of Employment and Learning) works towards: 

  • Enabling our students to develop the skills necessary to make informed decisions about their education and training and employment options based on self-awareness, understanding of the relevance of their education, skills and experiences and awareness of the available pathways and opportunities (locally, nationally and internationally).

  • Providing our students with the opportunities and experiences to develop essential employability and life skills in order to become effective citizens and employees.

  • Ensuring that our students have access to good quality career education, information, advice and guidance, tailored to their individual needs, so that they are able to make informed choices.

Work Experience

  • Year 13 pupils participate in a Work Experience Programme. They are carefully prepared beforehand and receive a visit from a member of staff during their week's work experience.

  • At the end of the placement, the employer provides a written report about each participant. The pupils are encouraged to assess their own performance and use it to inform their career choice.

Outline of Programmes

Students are introduced to personal career planning in Year 10 which involves the process of target setting, action planning, researching, and reviewing career options.

This is revisited on an on-going basis along with the provision of formal Careers Education lessons in Years 12 & 13.

  • During this time, students participate in seminars, work-related experiences and activities exploring the ever-changing labour market.

  • Year 10 and Year 12 along with all staff head out on industry visits during our annual “Insight into Industry” Day.

  • Year 8-14 attend our talks and workshops during our annual “Employability Skills” Week and National Careers Week.

  • All pupils in Years 10, 12, 13 and 14 have a careers guidance interview.


“Young people need support and assistance to become effective career decision-makers, making the choices that will lead them on to further or higher education, training and, ultimately, employment.”

Here at St. Cecilia’s College we recognise that a high quality careers provision can raise our students’ aspirations, awareness and motivation to achieve.

Preparing students to become life-long learners is one of our main aims in the school’s mission statement and it’s embedded in our whole school ethos. We want students to leave with the qualifications, employability skills, mindset and work related experiences that will ultimately make them more employable!

We aim to:

  • provide pupils with a broad and balanced curriculum that will enable them to pursue progression pathways which match their interests and aspirations;

  • equip pupils with the employability skills required for future working lives through a range of opportunities and experiences;

  • instil a commitment to lifelong learning in each pupil which is essential in the twenty first century world of work;

  • empower pupils to plan and manage their future careers.


Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance is provided by specialist Head of CEIAG Ms Conaty, Careers Teachers, Subject Teachers, Form Teachers and external Careers Advisers from the Careers Service of the Department for Learning and Employment (DELNI). St. Cecilia’s pupils also benefit from the experience and expertise of other external providers, including businesses, organisations, professionals, employers and other education and training providers.

Careers Education


At each Key Stage in St. Cecilia’s College, pupils attend timetabled Careers lessons during which they follow a taught programme incorporating elements of Careers Education.

During these lessons, pupils engage in an student focused Careers programme, including careers research and personal career planning. Pupils are encouraged to reflect on their own skills and interests and to consider their career aspirations. The programme at each Key Stage also supports pupils to make decisions in relation to their transition to the next Key Stage in terms of, for example, subject choices.

Key Stage 3

  • Work in the Local and Global Economy;

  • Career Management;

  • Enterprise and Entrepreneurship

  • Subject Choices for GCSE.

  • Attend “Insight into Industry” Day

  • Attend Employability Skills Week and STEAM Week at St Cecilia’s College.

  • Attend various events such as Culture TECH and STEM events.

Key Stage 4

  • Subject Choices for A Level.

  • Further Education;

  • Apprenticeships and Training;

  • Preparing for Work Experience

  • Attend “Insight into Industry” Day

  • Attend Employability Skills Week and STEAM Week at St Cecilia’s College.

  • Attend various events such as Culture TECH and STEM events.

Key Stage 5

  • Preparing for Work-Shadowing;

  • Opportunities in Higher Education;

  • Talks from Various Universities

  • Receive advice on AS results and A Level results

  • Choosing a University Course;

  • UCAS Application;

  • Interview Skills;

  • Attend Employability Skills Week and STEAM Week at St Cecilia’s College.

  • Attend various events such as Culture TECH and STEM events.

  • Student Finance; and

  • Making the Transition to Higher Education.

Work Related Learning

In St. Cecilia’s College, pupils are encouraged to gain experience of the world of work in career areas that may be of interest to them.

In Year 13, students participate in the Work-Shadowing Programme which provides students with the opportunity to spend time in companies and organisations across Northern Ireland and beyond.

Following a programme of classes in Interview Skills, Year 14 students participate in the Mock Interview Programme. As part of this programme, a panel of professionals from a wide range of career areas and representatives from universities attend St. Mary’s to interview Year 14 students. Students are assessed on their performance in the interview and are provided with detailed feedback to enable them to identify their strengths and their areas for improvement.

Employability Skills


Employability Skills are the wide range of skills and capabilities, attributes and dispositions that will allow pupils to be employable, to sustain employment and to become a life-long learner capable of realising their potential in the world of work. The skills and capabilities necessary for employability include:


  • Communication;

  • Numeracy;

  • Information and Communications Technology (ICT);

  • Working with Others;

  • Problem Solving;

  • Decision-Making;

  • Self-Management; and

  • Managing Information.

As a school, we aim to develop the Employability Skills of pupil through all aspects of our curricular and extra-curricular provision.
Insight into Industry” Day.

The Insight into Industry day is aimed at providing each and every Year 10 and Year 12 student with:

  • a meaningful insight into business

  • an understanding of employment

  • an example of the type of organisations we have in the North West (Derry, Strabane and Letterkenny.)

  • an idea of the qualifications and skills set required for jobs

  • an opportunity to see first-hand the range of jobs available

  • personal experiences of each organisation

We sincerely hope that by engaging in the Insight into Industry day students can approach career planning with a more informed knowledge about key employability skills.

Advice & Guidance

In St. Cecilia’s College, pupils may avail of personalised advice and guidance from specialist Careers advisors within the school and/or external Careers Adviser, Erin MacFarland Careers Service NI.

Pupils, and parents/guardians, may make an appointment to meet with a specialist Careers Adviser to assist them in making informed and considered decisions in terms of education, training or employment.

This is particularly important for pupils in Year 10, Year 12, Year 13 and Year 14. In Year 10 and Year 12, pupils have the opportunity to engage in a Guidance Interview with a member of the CEIAG Department before making their final GCSE or AS subject choices.

Each year, the CEIAG Department of St. Cecilia’s College offers a “Results Clinic” which provides post-examination results support to pupils.



In St. Cecilia’s College, careers information is provided to pupils in many ways throughout the school.

There is a Careers Library where pupils can access a wealth of careers information. Additionally, each subject department within the school has a dedicated Careers Information Board/Careers Corner which includes details such as careers connected to particular subjects. Throughout each year, a number of Guest Speakers, including past pupils, deliver presentations on areas that are linked to current employment trends.

In Year 14, all students have the opportunity to attend an Open Day at Queen’s University, Belfast and the Ulster University. Interested Year 14 students also have the opportunity to attend Allied Health Professions Work Shops organised by WHSCT.

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