ILKLEY Business Improvement District is working with local employers and Ilkley Grammar School to help highlight career opportunities in the town during National Careers Week (March 4 – 9).

Working in partnership with the school’s Post-16 and Personal Development team, the BID is encouraging local businesses to showcase themselves before students to help raise awareness of the professions available in Ilkley.

Ilkley Grammar School Deputy Headteacher Jamie Gutch, said the BID’s network of levy-paying businesses is an excellent resource to help find willing, interested and forward-thinking local organisations who can offer work placements, experience and industry related advice to students.

He said: “Deciding on a career path is not easy with young people receiving advice from a range of sources and sometimes feeling overwhelmed. As a school we want to engage with local businesses and secure ‘real world’ experiences for our pupils to help develop confidence, workplace understanding and to gain the insights which will shape their choices – but finding willing businesses and the right opportunities is an ongoing challenge.

“We are very lucky to have a BID in our town and the Ilkley BID team provides an invaluable link between ourselves and the businesses they represent. For our 2024 National Careers Week activities, the BID has reached out to its network to find who might be able to help our students with work-based activity and, importantly for us, is collating the information for us to share with students.”

To mark National Careers Week, Ilkley Grammar School is creating multiple learning opportunities from discussing careers-related themes to interactive sessions on ‘women in the world of work’ for International Women’s Day (Friday 8 March). Students are also receiving input from subject teachers about careers in their sectors while identifying the skills needed in different industries and how jobs may differ in the future.

Emily Dickinson, Director of Halliday Clark Architects said that providing work experience is incredibly important for the business. “Taking on students contributes to the development of future professionals, while enriching our culture of mentorship, innovation and our community social responsibility.

“Recruitment starts with an awareness of which businesses are in a school’s local area so we were delighted to hear, via the BID, that Ilkley Grammar wants businesses like ours to showcase their opportunities during National Careers Week. We have now supplied information on our business in the hopes of securing future work placements.”

BID Manager Helen Rhodes added: “While National Careers Week is just one opportunity for businesses to shout about the opportunities they have, the BID can facilitate introductions to Ilkley Grammar School at any time of year. If any of our member businesses would like to be connected with the right people at IGS to help future proof their workforce, please contact us on or call 07884 376057."