A Year in Reflection
I was recently reminded to reflect on how far we’ve come and our achievements over the past year. This is something I will be doing with my team next week when we come together for our final Communications Day of 2023. However, as the year draws to a close, I also wanted to take a few moments to pen down some of our key achievements and triumphs, all of which I feel immensely proud of.
Employer of the Year Award
A huge achievement for us this year was being named the ‘Most Supportive Employer‘ at the Careers in Careers Celebration Festival 2023. This award is a testament to the culture we have created, marked by collaborative spirit, open communication, and a commitment to excellence.
Our team’s unwavering support for each other and shared passion for empowering the next generation has been the key to our success. This recognition goes beyond just receiving an award; it reflects our values and every team member’s combined effort. I am immensely proud of what we have achieved together, and I am excited by the potential of what we can accomplish in the future.
Supporting Schools in Achieving the Quality in Careers Awards
Our collaboration with schools across the country this year has been truly rewarding. With the dedicated efforts of our team of careers advisers, we’ve had the opportunity to support several schools in achieving the Quality in Careers award and have over 50 who are actively working towards or maintaining this, too. We champion this award with our schools and work alongside them to help them to achieve it, highlighting our ongoing commitment to providing high-quality careers guidance and support to students.
After a year of continued growth, we have responded by welcoming 8 new advisers to the team and ‘growing our own’ with the promotion of colleagues. One key promotion that stands out is Katie’s, who has gone from adviser to Operations Manager in just 2 years.
We’ve also promoted Rebecca, and welcomed our new Business Development Executive, Rachel – Not bad for 365 days!
I am always blown away by the wonderful feedback we get from our schools, and our end-of-year feedback was no different. With 100% of our schools saying that they would recommend us, the feedback also highlighted the incredible level of advice and guidance provided to schools. Here are just a few of my favourite snippets of feedback.
One school shared, “Our career advisers are a pillar of support, not just for our students but also for staff.” This sentiment is a common thread in the feedback, highlighting the invaluable role of our advisors, whose dedication is consistently praised. “Our advisor has truly gone above and beyond,” noted another school, emphasising their exceptional support for students and staff.
The efforts of our team have not gone unnoticed, with schools also acknowledging their significant contributions.
Additionally, the professionalism and commitment of our advisers have been a focal point of praise. “Our advisor’s work ethic and readiness to assist in various capacities have been outstanding,” a school representative remarked.
This feedback from our end-of-year survey is not just a collection of positive comments; it’s a testament to the strong relationships we’ve built and the meaningful impact we’ve had on the schools and students we work with.
The Schools and Academies Show
A standout moment for us this year was our attendance at The Schools and Academies Show in Birmingham this November.
As exhibitors, Rachel, our Business Development Executive, and I had the opportunity to engage with a diverse group of educators and professionals. This event was a significant platform for us to showcase our innovative careers guidance approaches and learn from other leaders in the education sector. The insights and connections we gained at the show are invaluable and will undoubtedly influence our strategies and initiatives in the coming year.
Colleague Community Days
This year’s colleague community days have also been a highlight, particularly our well-being walk in the summer. The well-being of our fantastic team of careers advisers is a top priority. Understanding the importance of work-life balance, we dedicated a day to step away from our usual routines and focus on relaxation and bonding. This year, we downed tools for a few hours to spend quality time outdoors with colleagues, friends, and families.
The day was filled with laughter, conversations, and a refreshing connection with nature, reinforcing the importance of taking a break and enjoying each other’s company. It was an excellent opportunity to strengthen our team spirit and remind ourselves of the supportive community we have built at Progress Careers.
Our Social Impact
Perhaps the one that I am most proud of (it is certainly the one that brought a tear to my eye) is our Social Impacts report. We’re proud to share that between April 2021 and March 2022, we generated £17,475,034 in social value, with a social return on investment of £21.98 for every £1 spent. This is a huge impact for a business of our size that truly reflects our commitment to delivering meaningful benefits to the education sector.
I cannot wait to see what our next set of accounts shows; after all, we have grown significantly since March 22!
So, there we have it, a year of growth, development, networking, and awards – all made possible by my incredible team who work so hard. If you are a school looking for a transformational career’s guidance provider, feel free to drop me a line. I’m proud to be leading the way and resetting career guidance standards, and we’d love to talk to school leaders who also share this passion for raising the bar.